Nutrition and diet are important to consider for the health of your body. They’re also important factors to consider for your teeth as well. Red Maple Dental’s Dr. Shawna Hoffert, a dentist in Asheville, NC, explains why these five foods are a bad choice for your oral health.
This may seem an odd choice, as it’s technically just water. But it’s the form it’s in that causes trouble. Chewing ice is a habit that many people have. However, it can also cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
If you’re chewing ice frequently, it can slowly wear the teeth down due to the texture. Also, if you bite down the wrong way, there’s a chance you can crack or chip your tooth. This means an emergency dental visit.
2. Hard Candy
Chewy candy seems like an obvious choice to avoid. But hard candy isn’t a better option. Because it takes so long to fully break down and dissolve, it means that sugar is lingering in your mouth. This gives a prolonged feeding frenzy to those bacteria that ingest sugar. Meaning they’re also giving off more acid to eat through your enamel.
In addition, hard candy can have the same consequences as ice. If you bite down at the wrong angle, you could have a broken or chipped tooth. If you chew it when it’s almost dissolved, the hard, sticky pieces tend to get stuck in the tops of your molars. The candy is just sitting there for a while, meaning sugar and bacteria are too.
3. Dried Fruit
Fruit is always a better option than desserts when you’re craving something sweet. However, it’s best to stick to fresh fruit and avoid the dry option. While some fresh fruits like apples and pears have extra benefits like increasing saliva production, dry fruit doesn’t have that. It’s also concentrated with more sugar than the fresh variety.
Dried fruit often has a sticky texture as well. This makes it prone to getting wedged in between teeth and in the crevices on top of your molars. If you don’t have a toothbrush and floss at the ready when you’re finished with this snack, the sugary fruit bits are going to linger in those places. That’s a cavity waiting to happen.
4. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are often marketed as a better way to replenish valuable nutrients when you’re working out. What they’re hiding is how much sugar they actually contain in them. You may think it’s a healthier option compared to something like soda, but sports drinks can actually be worse in some instances.
Plus, our bodies don’t actually need all the salt and other nutrients in sports drinks unless we’re working out and sweating excessively. Water will do just as well — if not better — at hydrating you, while also washing away excess bacteria and food particles.
5. Potato Chips and Crackers
Since they don’t list a bunch of sugars in their ingredients list, you may think these salty snacks are a safe bet. However, they’re both starches, which means they actually break down into sugars as you eat them.
Both of these snacks are also notorious for getting stuck in your teeth. Chips crack and break easily, leading particles to get stuck between and around teeth. Crackers form into a paste-like substance, often settling into the crevices on your molars. If you’re going to eat one of these, make sure you have water to wash your mouth out after.
Advice From Your Asheville, North Carolina Dentist