Many people believe that you are what you eat, and the saying rings true even for the state of your gums and teeth. In that regard, you are not only feeding yourself when you consume food or drinks, but also provide sustenance for the built-up of bacteria found in your mouth.
On that note, plaque, cavities, and tooth decay worsens when exposed to any food or drinks containing sugars and starches such as bread, cereal, fruit, cake, candy, and soda as the germs in your teeth turn these carbohydrates into acids. Consequently, the acids can worsen and cause holes in the teeth, which is commonly referred to as cavities.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult to avoid with the bevy of beverages and foods to choose from, as well as the typical number of intake an individual gets daily. On that note, it can lead to tooth decay, which is a disease wherein your teeth soften due to the acids weakening the structure of the tooth.
When left untreated, it can burn holes into your tooth and eventually destroy it entirely altogether. To help avoid such a destructive and costly pitfall for your oral care, the list below should help guide you with your regular regimen to help maintain a healthy smile.
What are the Foods and Drinks to Avoid or Limit?
1. Sticky Candies or Sweets
There’s nothing wrong with ending your meal on a sweet note, however, it’s in your best interest to steer away from desserts that take a while to dissolve in your mouth. This involves avoiding lollipops, caramels, or even cough drops containing refined sugar.
In that regard, those who have a sweet tooth need not worry as the ADA states that chocolate can be a healthier alternative, especially dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. While it remains unproven, chocolate is believed to prevent cavities due to its ability to wash off quickly, making it a better choice for sugary treats.
2. Carbonated Soft Drinks
Soft drinks contain a whopping amount of sugar and are known to be one of the leading sources of the cavity for kids and teens. Not to mention, soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids that can eventually decay tooth enamel, which comprises the tooth’s structure when left unattended.
3. Starchy Foods
Almost all regular meals contain sugar and starch, however, the worst among them are starchy foods that typically get stuck in between your teeth. For instance, potato chips or soft slices of bread can easily get trapped in your mouth and may not be fully brushed off even after your oral regimen.
How to Avoid Tooth Decay
It’s unrealistic to say that the aforementioned drinks and foods above should be completely avoided as these are all part of an individual’s typical diet. However, there are ways to limit its detrimental effects, most of which are easy to do and apply for practical use daily.
In that regard, you can reduce the risk of tooth decay by only eating sugary desserts with meals. This is because food triggers your mouth to produce more saliva, which can lessen the development of acid. It’s also ideal to limit snacks, though if that is not an option, stick to nutritious alternatives or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production and wash out the formation of acid.
Of course, maintaining optimal oral hygiene should involve drinking water at least eight times a day, especially ones that are fluoridated. To that end, no matter how busy you may be, it’s important to never skip out on brushing your teeth twice a day as well as regular flossing.
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your dental health, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.