We all know that eating lots of sugar is bad for your teeth. As sugary substances get left behind in the mouth, they feed bacteria which excretes plaque. This plaque then wears away at toothenamel, leaving the holes that we know less-than-fondly as
However, sugar isn’t the only threat to tooth enamel, nor is it the
most dangerous. Many foods contain high amounts of acids that can literally dissolve your teeth. Several of the worst foods for your enamel are listed below:
- Citrus: As healthy as they are, oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are all high in citric acid, and may, therefore, wear away tooth enamel. These are best consumed with a meal or chased down with a glass of water to minimize their effects.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is fairly acidic, and may therefore cause harm to your teeth. Various foods, including salad dressings and chips, may contain high amounts of vinegar, so rinsing your mouth after eating a salad is always a good idea.
- Pickles: Pickles are a combination of the natural sugars found in vegetables and the acid in vinegar, making them rather dangerous for your teeth.
- Coffee: If a beverage stains your teeth, chances are, it’s fairly acidic. This is the case with coffee. The tannic acid present in coffee can wear teeth down, and any added sugar can make cavities all the more likely.
- Hard candy: Candies of any kind introduce sugars and acids into the mouth, and hard candies do so for extended periods of time, making it more likely for enamel to be weakened during consumption.
- Tomatoes: On their own, tomatoes are highly acidic, whether you eat them raw or as a sauce. As part of a meal, the effects can be mitigated enough to reduce the risk to your teeth.
- Soft drinks: Most carbonated beverages, sports drinks, and energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar, which feeds bacteria in your mouth. However, even more dangerous is the amount of acid in these beverages, which will wear tooth enamel away far more quickly than sugar ever will.
In most cases, the acidity in these foods can be handled with proper hygiene, drinking plenty of water, and eating them as part of a meal instead of on their own. However, some items (such as coke) are best avoided or consumed in moderation.
Avoiding or minimizing acidic and sugary foods is an important part of keeping your enamel intact. Regular visits to your dentist, including routine checkups and cleaning, also help maintain a healthy mouth. Lynn Dental Care is here to provide the personalized dental care you need for optimum oral health.