You already know that candy and sugary soda are bad for your teeth. There are also other less obvious foods and drinks that can harm your oral health. Whether you choose to avoid them entirely or reduce your consumption to help protect your teeth, here are five foods and drinks dentists tell their patients to try to limit.
Putting ice in your drink is refreshing but biting and chewing on ice can be damaging. Avoid doing anything that would result in trauma to the tooth as it fractures enamel. Similar examples of foods that can require hard biting include hard candies, nuts, and even granola.
ENERGY & SPORTS DRINKS
Like many colas, energy or sports drinks are often high in sugar. They also tend to be acidic, so you’re more likely to develop cavities. Like colas, you can still drink them but do so in moderation.
Dried fruits can be delicious, but they’re also potentially damaging. The sour flavor in dried fruit – like apricots, peaches, and even banana chips – is created by adding acid to them. Dried fruit is sticky-and-harmful: Not only is the sugary coating damaging your enamel, but the gummy nature of the treat means it sticks around on your teeth longer.
FLAVORED COFFEE CREAMER
Unsweetened coffee and tea are healthy options, but when you add sugar, syrup, or flavored creamers, you’re turning them into unhealthy drinks. The problem is if you have multiple cups of coffee a day and are adding these sweeteners to each cup, it can damage your teeth. If you do drink sweetened coffee or tea, chase it with a cup of water to rinse your teeth.
The occasional glass of wine or beer is fine but drinking alcohol frequently and in excess can dry out your mouth. This can reduce your saliva flow and put you at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. What’s more, excess alcohol consumption is tied to oral cancer.
Although some might advise avoiding these problem foods altogether, dentists generally argue in favor of moderation and good oral hygiene. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying ice cream or cake occasionally. Just remember to brush your teeth and floss every day as well as go for regular check-ups with your dentist. Your association and AMBA have Dental Plans that provide coverage on everything from routine dentist visits to procedures like root canals, crowns, and more. Sign up or learn more at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.