While many people may know what food and drinks are good for our teeth, there may be some that people don’t realize are bad for our teeth. The main ingredient to look out for is sugar. However, acidic foods and beverages can also cause damage.
Bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugars and “eat them,” producing acid as a bi-product. This acid, in turn, causes pH levels in our mouth to drop. When the pH drops below 5.5, it is at a critical level and begins to decalcify the enamel of our teeth. What this means is that the sugars in things we eat actually begin to chemically erode our teeth.
Foods To Avoid or Limit
Sticky or chewy candies, such as Skittles or gummy bears, are not only filled with sugar; they also have a tendency to stick on teeth and continue producing acid until they are mechanically removed by a toothbrush, tongue, or other means. This is also true for popular gummy vitamins.
All chocolate contains sugar, which is bad for your teeth, and contributes to decay. However, if you wish to have a chocolate treat, try to reach for dark chocolate instead. Milk chocolate contains more sugar and milk than dark chocolate.
Lemons are extremely acidic and cause erosion of tooth enamel. While all citrus fruits are acidic, lemons are among the most acidic. If you enjoy eating lemons or drinking the juice, be sure to rinse vigorously with water to help neutralize the acids and rinse the juice away.
Drinks to Avoid or Limit
Sugars in soda react with bacteria in our mouths and form acids that damage our teeth. Additionally, sugar free sodas are just as bad for our teeth. All sodas contain their own acids which are damaging to tooth enamel.
Many people assume that fruit juice is as good as eating fruit. Unfortunately, juice is loaded with sugar. As we have previously discussed, these sugars are detrimental to our teeth. To reap the benefits of fruit, it is best to ingest in its solid form and not rely on the highly concentrated juice form.
Sports drinks contain acids and sugars just as sodas do. When it comes to hydration, water really is the best choice. However, for the best water choices, click here to read our blog on differences in waters.