The holidays are a very special time of year. Family, fun, food, lights, decorations, Christmas music, does it get any better? Don’t pay for your holiday fun with dental woes. Watch that food table and all those snacks and sweet holiday goodies. In fact, you can begin your New Year’s resolution right now by avoiding foods bad for your dental health. In today’s blog we give you tips on healthy holiday eating for your teeth.
It is important to eat healthy not just for your body but for your teeth. Certain foods are good for your teeth just as certain foods are better for your overall health than others. Foods that are good for your teeth are good for your gums. It is important to keep your gums healthy because they not only keep your teeth in place, but the same bacteria that cause gum disease can cause diseases throughout your body. If you cannot avoid the seven foods that are bad for your teeth, rinse with water or brush your teeth as soon after eating them as possible.
Sweet vs Salty
Many people think only sugary foods are bad for your teeth, but salty snacks can harm your oral health too.
Salty: Salty snacks including chips, nuts, pretzels, and crackers can get stuck in between your teeth. The longer food debris remains between your teeth the more chance the carbohydrates have to convert to sugar and attract pathogenic bacteria that feast on sugars and release acids that break down your enamel. You can’t tell if a cavity is forming in between your teeth unless you have dental x-rays.
Sweet: Thick, sticky holiday goodies such as caramel and fudge can wreak havoc on your dental health. They are high in sugar and they stick to your teeth. The consistency of these treats makes it hard for your saliva to wash them away. Hard candies should be avoided as well. Hard candies like candy canes, a holiday favorite, melt away slowly in your mouth leaving behind sticky sugary residue. The longer it takes you to dissolve the candy in your mouth the more time to attract harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Healthy eating for your teeth includes picking lots of fruits and veggies
Most party tables include a veggie tray with fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. These foods help clean your teeth and wash away harmful bacteria, the same with fresh fruits such as apples and pears. Don’t pay for your holiday fun with dental woes. Get a healthy payoff by making healthy choices.
Foods that can be bad for your teeth
You may not realize how certain foods can affect your teeth and gums, and if you practice good oral hygiene you may not be too worried about it. However, sticky, sugary foods and acidic foods and beverages can dissolve tooth enamel and cause cavities. The seven foods below are bad for your teeth:
- Dried fruits: They are sticky and high in sugar.
- Sugary Drinks: High in sugar and acids.
- Hard Candies: Sticky, sugary and take a long time to dissolve.
- Alcohol: Irritates soft oral tissues and causes dry mouth.
- Acidic foods: Such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and diet sodas wear away tooth enamel.
- Starchy foods: They break down into sugars.
- Coffee: Stains your teeth and makes them sticky so food debris and harmful bacteria can stick to them easily.
Learn more about healthy eating for your teeth
Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is a former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.