10 foods and drinks to avoid for better dental health
Brushing at least twice daily, flossing daily and getting a regular dental cleaning and checkup twice a year are great ways to maintain the health of your mouth.
But choosing the food and drink you consume wisely is another way to keep good dental health. Here are some food and drink items that you may want to avoid to improve your dental health:
- Popcorn- When popcorn gets stuck in your teeth, it can cause pain and, if not removed, may lead to bacteria buildup. If you do eat popcorn, floss afterward to prevent stuck pieces from overstaying their welcome.
- Hard candy- The sugar found in most candy can contribute to tooth decay, but hard candy can be more damaging since it's held in the mouth longer, which may cause more damage. Try sugar-free hard candy varieties if you can't give up your sweets.
- Soda, diet soda- The high sugar content in soda soft drinks makes them a good drink to avoid for better dental health. Diet varieties of soda typically contain less sugar content than regular soda, but they still have high acidity, which is also harmful to teeth.
- Cake- It's very sweet so the sugar content is high, which promotes tooth decay. Try yogurt without added sugar as a healthier option.
- Coffee, tea- If you consume large amounts of coffee or tea it can stain your teeth over time. If you do drink coffee or tea regularly, brush your teeth afterward to minimize its effects.
- Vitamin C- Taking vitamin C can help boost your immune system, but if taken in large quantities, the asorbic acid it's comprised of can cause tooth erosion.
- Salad dressing- Salad dressings that contain vinegar and sugar can be both harmful to your teeth. Opt for dressings that are not vinegar or dairy based, or use smaller amounts.
- Tomatoes- Although tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, they also have a very high acidic content. Eat them in moderation and rinse your mouth or chew sugarless gum after eating to wash away the acidic effect.
- Gummy candy- Gummy bears, gummy worms and other gummy candies can stick to your teeth, making it harder for your saliva to rinse away any harmful acidic effect. Try sugarless candy or gum instead.
- Fruit juice- The high sugar content found in many fruit juices is again the culprit against your teeth. However, if you do drink fruit juice, try drinking it through a straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth and drink water afterward to keep your mouth rinsed out.
Maintaining a good diet and establishing regular behaviors like brushing and flossing are important factors in improving or maintaining your dental health. Regular dental cleanings and checkups are also important.
If you're ready to take proactive steps towards better dental health, talk to a highly rated New York City tri-state area dentist.