Diet has a significant influence on oral health, and some foods are much better for your teeth than others. Diet is an important consideration for everyone, but you may need to be especially careful when thinking about what you eat if you have braces, have a high risk of developing gum disease or have missing teeth.
Here are 10 foods that are most likely to cause damage to your teeth.
- Hard sweets: hard sweets are not just bad news because of their sugar content; they also carry a risk of dental injury and cause problems for people with braces. Orthodontists in Dublin will bear witness to the fact that biting down on a hard toffee or humbug can cause major damage to a tooth. Eating these sweets can also cause the wires and brackets of braces to become damaged.
- Fizzy drinks: fizzy drinks are acidic and they are often laden with sugar, which contributes to acid erosion of the enamel and therefore increases the risk of cavities. It’s best to stick to water, milk and diluted sugar-free cordial.
- Crusty bread: crusty bread is harmful to the teeth as it can be hard to break down. Bread is also starchy, which means that it is broken down into simple sugars that can damage the teeth. Crusty bread can also cut the tongue and gums.
- Chewy sweets: chewy sweets can get stuck in the pits in the surfaces of the teeth and they are packed with sugar. Sugary foods cause bacteria to produce acids that erode the enamel.
- Wine: wine has a low pH value, which means that it is acidic. Acids erode the protective enamel surface of the tooth. Wine can also stain the teeth, especially red wine.
- Fruit juice: fruit juice is acidic, and shop-bought products also contain a lot of sugar. Fruit juice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, but you should always ensure that you dilute it and drink it at mealtimes only.
- Apples: apples have a host of benefits for oral health, but biting straight into an apple can be uncomfortable for those who suffer from sensitivity. Apples are also acidic, so it’s best to cut up an apple and eat it in segments to reduce the impact of contact with the teeth.
- Crisps: crisps can be sharp, which means that there is a risk of cutting the gums and tongue and they also tend to get stuck between the teeth and in the tiny grooves on the tooth surface. Left over bits of food can combine with saliva and bacteria to form plaque, so it’s really important to brush regularly. Crisps are also complex carbohydrates. This means that they can be broken down into simple sugars.
- Meat: if you wear braces, you may have trouble chewing meat and it can get stuck in the brackets and wires. Braces are sometimes difficult to keep clean and any remnants increase the risk of plaque formation. If you enjoy meat, it’s wise to cut it up into very small pieces and cook it so that it’s tender, rather than tough.
- Biscuits: biscuits are many people’s idea of food heaven, but they are a nightmare for the teeth. Biscuits contain a huge amount of sugar and they also get stuck in your teeth when you are chewing.Oral health is significantly affected by your diet, and eating the right foods can really make a difference to the health of your mouth, teeth and gums. Watch out for sharp foods that can cut your gums, sugary foods that can damage your teeth and foods that can stain your teeth. Brushing your teeth up to an hour after eating is beneficial to clear away food debris, but if you’re unable to get to a toothbrush during the day, drinking lots of water will help to keep your teeth clean.