It’s probably not a newsflash that your diet can play a role in how often you need to pay a visit to the dentist in Melbourne. The things we eat and drink can play a big role in the health of our teeth and gums. But some foods and drinks are worse than others. Here’s a list of things in your diet that just might be more harmful for your teeth than you might think.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea can stain the surface of the teeth if you drink them a lot. But we have an additional problem with coffee in this day and age: We like to put too much “goop” in it! Many people like their coffee with lots of sugar and milk, or large mounds of whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. At a certain point, that “coffee” ceases to be coffee and starts to function as a plaque factory in the mouth.
If you’re going to drink coffee or tea, drink it in moderation with nothing extra in it — and drink plenty of water besides that daily “cup of Joe.” Caffeine can dehydrate the mouth, which can lead to additional dental problems.
Ice is great for chilling drinks in the summertime, but it’s a danger to the enamel on your teeth if you like to chew on ice cubes. Chewing on any type of hard substance, including ice, puts you at risk of chipping a tooth and having to visit your dentist in Melbourne for a dental emergency.
Crunchy snacks or foods are incredibly satisfying. Who doesn’t love a good potato chip, or a hard taco shell? They’re great! But they’re also potentially dangerous for your teeth.
Potato chips, for example, contain a ton of starch. That starch builds up on your teeth, and it requires extra brushing and flossing to get it all off, so the starch doesn’t convert to plaque and/or gingivitis. Hard taco shells and other crunchy foods that could crack or break a weakened tooth. Sure, these things are not likely to hurt a completely healthy tooth, but they could lead to an extra trip to the dental office if you have some compromised teeth to begin with.
Aren’t sports drinks supposed to be healthy and filled with electrolytes and other healthy things? You would think so, but most are not. Sugar tends to be the main ingredient in most sports drinks. The “science” behind them is more about giving you an energy boost from the sugar content, rather than providing a healthy drink. That high sugar content means that sports drinks are almost as bad for your teeth as soda, which is loaded with cavity-causing sugars.
What?! Dried fruits are healthy snacks, right? To a certain point, they are. But dried fruits also tend to be sticky foods — the type that sticks to your teeth and lingers there for too long. The sticky, sugary substance of dried fruits is a breeding ground for unhealthy mouth bacteria. The longer it lingers on the teeth, the more likely plaque will develop. This can lead to cavities, unhealthy teeth, gum disease and more.
Citrus fruits are another food type that is counterintuitive when it comes to your oral health. Yes, citrus fruits are healthy for you because they’re packed with vitamin C and they’re great for your immune system. However, they’re also extremely acidic foods. This means they will eat away at the tooth enamel over time and cause problems with tooth decay.
Out of all the terrible foods and drinks for human teeth, soda is right at the top of the list. Even diet sodas are acidic enough that they’re bad for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth use sugars to produce acidic substances that eat away the tooth enamel. If you’re going to drink a soda, the best strategy is to drink a glass of water along with it, because it will help to immediately rinse the sugars off your teeth or at least lower the acidity. An even better option is to simply stick to “plain old water”!
Contact a Melbourne Dentist about Damaged Teeth
The good news about damaged teeth is that there are a lot of options to repair them and restore your smile. If you are interested in conventional braces, Invisalign or invisible braces in Melbourne, we’re standing by at Melbourne Orthodontics to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.