Most of us seem to overindulge in eating out and trying new foods. Unfortunately, this abundance and variety can also wreak havoc on your teeth, dentures, and gums, leading to gum disease and even the possible need for oral surgery.
In fact, just the thought of either of those two sends some of us into a panic.
Wondering what to watch for in your family’s diet? Here are 12 foods we find are the most dangerous for your teeth and dentures.
1. Hard, Sticky, or Chewy Candy
You already know about the dangers of too much sugar and what it can do to the teeth as well as the rest of the body. Remind your family that sticky and chewy candy can easily cling to teeth and areas of your mouth for long periods of time, giving bacteria endless amounts of food.
Hard candies can be even worse. If you allow them to slowly melt, then they simply release sugar over a long period of time. If you like to chew your hard candy, then you run the risk of chipping or even breaking a tooth or your dental implants, causing the need for cosmetic dentistry.
2. Too Much Citrus
We need Vitamin C in our bodies, but watch your intake. Even though citric acid tastes great and is healthy for us, too much of it can start to erode the enamel of your teeth. The problem is that enamel doesn’t grow back. FYI, grapefruit and lemon juice have the highest acidity, while orange juice has the least.
3. Coffee & Tea
As you know, coffee can badly stain teeth, dentures, and dental implants. These stains can be extremely hard to remove unless you have your teeth professionally whitened or invest in new dentures or other procedures. Furthermore, to counteract the bitterness of coffee and tea, many of us add excessive amounts of sugar, which is detrimental to your oral hygiene as well.
4. Dried Fruits
We’re constantly told dried fruits are healthy, and many of us add them our children’s lunches or keep some on our desk for a midday snack. However, the downside of dried fruits is that they’re sticky and highly concentrated in natural sugars. Worse, these natural sugars are just as bad for your teeth as the sugars found in candy. And the stickiness can unexpectedly cause your dentures or dental implants to loosen.
5. Sticky Foods
Sticky foods do just that: stick to your teeth. The longer they stay, the more bacteria grows. We know it’s hard to avoid eating them all the time, so the best thing to do is floss as quickly after the meal as you can. For those of us with dentures or dental implants, sticky foods can unexpectedly cause your dentures or dental implants to loosen or even fall out at the worst moments.
6. Ice, Ice, Baby . . . Too Cold?
Nope, actually too hard. Unfortunately, ice is hard on your teeth and gums. If your mouth is already in the beginning stages of gum disease, then imagine how painful a chipped tooth or sharp piece of ice jammed in the gums can be.
The funny thing is, water is one of the best things you can drink to prevent gum infection. So wait till the ice melts, and then enjoy.
7. Crunchy Snack Foods
These crunchy and sharp pieces of goodness can affect your teeth and gums the same way ice does. But they have the added dangers of being extremely starchy and can stick in between teeth. Once again, it’s a good idea to brush, rinse, or floss immediately after.
8. White Bread
While not as bruisingly dangerous to your mouth as the previous two, white bread is just as bad in excess and in the long run. As you chew, the white bread breaks down and easily sticks between teeth and dentures, allowing the starches to turn to sugar and feed bacteria.
9. Vinegar and Vinegary Foods
Balsamic or red wine vinaigrette maybe the healthier salad dressing choice, but the vinegar in our salad dressing is acidic, which can lead to enamel erosion. Pickles are also a problem because of their vinegar content. The healthiest and best beverage choice to pair with these foods is water. It will help to rinse and neutralize the acids.
Once again, many people eat these frequently. You may have them at every meal of the day some days, which is why we listed them separately. Just remember, they’re also highly acidic and should be mixed with other foods that will neutralize their acidity.
11. Soda and Sports Drinks
We would hope this is an obvious one, but we decided to include it just in case you need the reminder. The problem with sodas and sports drinks is that they’re both acidic and sugary. So if you or your kids drink these in excess, even the sugar-free versions will damage your teeth. The worst part about these two is they don’t only damage teeth, they attack dentures and dental implants as well.
12. Alcohol (Don’t Hate Us)
Among the many problems with frequent and excessive alcohol consumption is it’s also bad for your oral hygiene. Alcohol causes dehydration, and a dry mouth with reduced saliva flow can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
We’re not just referring to hard liquors here. Remember, all wine is acidic. While red wine stains anything and everything, white wine has a higher acidity, which once again leads to enamel loss.
Long story short: You can occasionally have some of the things on our list; just enjoy in moderation. And remember that a regular brushing regimen and visits to any of the Chandler locations are your best defense for keeping your winning smile healthy.
To learn more about dentures, dental implants, the new all-on-4 dental procedure, or the convenient teeth in a day procedure, contact us to set up a consultation.