Your teeth are designed to help break down food before your stomach takes over. However, some foods fight back. Depending on what you consume, you could be harming your teeth. If you would like to know more, check out how different foods affect your teeth.
Sugars and Simple Carbs
When it comes to cavities, sugar is the big bad guy. Sugar is food for bacteria, but these bacteria release acids, which soften your enamel. When you brush your teeth, you brush away the bacteria and any sugar left behind. If you neglect to brush your teeth, it can lead to tartar and/or cavities.
Simple carbohydrates are problematic too. They break down fast into sugars, once more becoming food to attract bacteria.
Hard Candies and Ice
Hard candies, with or without sugar, can also be problematic. Ice poses the same issues. When you chew on hard candies or ice, you have a greater chance of chipping or cracking your tooth. Even a small chip can easily allow bacteria to enter, getting past the enamel and dentin.
Once the bacteria reaches the inside of the tooth, an infection can develop. This type of infection can only be treated by removing the tooth or having root canal therapy to remove the tooth's pulp.
Acidic Fruits and Drinks
Some foods and beverages contain high amounts of acid. Foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes have high levels of acid, as do soda, wine, and similar beverages. This acid softens your enamel, and it can affect any tooth that came in contact with the food or beverages.
You should try to limit how many acidic foods and beverages you consume. If you do consume acidic foods or drinks, rinse your mouth out after you're done, but make sure to wait a little before brushing your teeth. The bristles from your toothbrush could be strong enough to rip off some of the enamel while it's softened. You'll want to wait for the enamel to reharden before you brush.
Stain-Causing Food and Beverages
Stain-causing foods and beverages include berries, coffee, wine, tea, soda, and many more. These foods and beverages contain tannins or natural dyes that can stain teeth. Typically, the process is slow, so you may not realize your teeth are changing colors until they have drastically changed.
You can reverse these stains with teeth whitening. In fact, teeth whitening methods are amazing at getting rid of organic stains like tannin stains.
Everything you eat and drink can affect your oral health. When it comes to sugar, acid, and other problematic foods, the goal is to consume in moderation. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.