We all want healthy, strong teeth. But sometimes, what we eat can be detrimental to our oral health, and to our healthy teeth goals. Even foods we think are good for us can be deceptive, containing hidden carbohydrates, sugar, and even acid that eats away at the enamel of our teeth.
Here are just a few foods and products you may not have known that contain dangerous elements that could be bad for our teeth.
We’ve probably all heard that soda is bad for our waistline and our teeth, but did you know that even diet soda is bad for your teeth? That’s because many soft drinks contain citric acid, which can damage tooth enamel if not brushed or rinsed away. While diet soda is better for us than regular soda, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s as healthy as water. If you drink diet soda, be sure to follow it with water, and to brush your teeth about 30 minutes after enjoying.
Nicotine Gum and Lozenges
Quitting smoking can be hard, but thankfully there are smoking cessation aids like nicotine gum and lozenges. Unfortunately, even the sugar-free varieties of these products can be bad for your teeth, so be sure to brush thoroughly after using them.
Foods that are starchy, like baked potatoes, rice, potato chips, and white bread are high in carbohydrates, which stick to the teeth and cause cavities. It is recommended you brush after consuming these foods, or swap them out with safer foods like sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.
Gum is supposed to freshen your breath and help neutralize plaque acid – if it’s sugar-free. If you are still chewing the regular, full-sugar version of your favorite gum, you are not reaping any of the benefits to your teeth. In fact, you are potentially harming them by coating them with sugar and then keeping that sugar in your mouth for a prolonged amount of time. If you must chew gum, switch to sugarless gum and gain the benefits of chewing it.
Fruit juice is made with fruit, so it’s healthy, right? Well, yes and no. While consuming fruit is great for your body, fruit juices can often be packed with extra sugar that’s dangerous for your teeth. If you enjoy an occasional glass of fruit juice, be sure to follow your glass with a glass of water, and brush your teeth about 30 minutes after drinking to allow your tooth enamel to reharden before brushing.
There is no reason to give up your favorite foods, but remember to care for your teeth afterward. To embark on a smoking cessation program, speak to your physician about which program is best for you.