Some of our patients at Peninsula Family Dental Center may be unaware of the tremendous impact that diet has on teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are not enough to maintain healthy and cavity-free teeth and gums. In addition to good dental habits, it’s also imperative to see a dentist at least twice a year for dental cleanings. During these dental cleanings, your dentist will carefully inspect your teeth for cavities and any other possible issues, so it’s important to follow through with these appointments. Meanwhile, let’s talk about the effects of eating and drinking habits on teeth, and identify some unfriendly foods when it comes to dental care and health.
Carbonated Drinks. Soda is carbonated, full of sugar and artificial dyes, and is hard on our teeth enamel. The carbonation and high amounts of phosphorus can eat away at enamel and contribute to ugly staining. Instead, choose to drink healthy teas like green or black tea (without added sugar). Tea is full of antioxidants, and if enjoyed in moderation, tea can actually fight off bacteria.
Candy and Sweet Treats. Everyone enjoys a sweet treat once in a while. But if eaten on a regular basis, sugar becomes an enemy of our teeth and encourages cavities to form. Instead, reach for a piece of fruit. Full of natural sugars to help satisfy that desire for sweetness, fruit has no artificial flavors or sweeteners that are hard on your teeth.
Juice. Most juice brands available on today’s supermarket shelves are high in sugar and full of additives. In reality, some commercial juice brands contain very little juice. Citrus juices like sweetened lemonades are also very acidic, and acid eats away at teeth. Consider a healthier alternative: add orange slices or cucumber slices to a pitcher of water and create a refreshing flavor that is much healthier than those sugary juices.
Carbohydrates. Did you know that in our bodies, carbohydrates break down into sugar? Simple carbohydrates, like pastries or candy, break down more quickly and encourage acid formation that does damage to our teeth. For better snack options choose fresh, complex carbohydrate veggies like apples and carrots, which break down more slowly and are better absorbed by our digestive systems. Apples and carrots are also high in vitamins, and their fibrous textures help to clean our teeth.
At Peninsula Family Dental Center, you matter. By changing your diet and reaching for healthier snack options, you can save a lot of money and help avoid fillings and other unnecessary dental work. And remember to schedule your next dental cleaning to prevent those unwanted cavities. After all, our staff enjoys your visits to our office, but we’d satisfied to see you twice a year at your biannual check ups!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/1/2017) Soo Jū-hông (Flickr)