Most of us are aware that candy, cola, cookies, and other sugary foods are harmful to our teeth, but how about fruits? Yes, that’s true. Even some healthy foods that we eat regularly can damage our teeth. While brushing twice a day can prevent tooth damage, some foods can cause enough damage to necessitate professional dental cleanings.
How do certain food items damage your teeth?
The two main components of food that damage our teeth are sugar and acid.
Our mouth is home to millions of bacteria. These bacteria feed on the plaque build-up on our teeth and produce lactic acid. Lactic acid damages the tooth enamel. Sugar, especially table sugar sticks to the teeth and is difficult to remove by brushing. It acts as food for the bacteria already present in your mouth causing damage.
Acids are another component of some of your regular food items that can damage your teeth. Acidic foods erode your tooth enamel and directly break down your teeth. So, not only sugary foods, but sour foods can damage your teeth.
Food items you didn’t know were damaging your teeth
Pickles and pickled vegetables: Pickles are often soaked in preservatives such as vinegar, which are acidic in nature. They contain sugar as well. So, by consuming pickles or pickled vegetables, you may be causing damage to your teeth without even knowing it.
Other foods that may cause damage.
Many types of bread, particularly processed white bread such as bagels contain a lot of sugar, which can cause damage to your teeth. The only thing you can do is clean your mouth soon after you have had bread.
If you consume a lot of citrus fruits such as limes or lemons, it can erode the enamel on your teeth. Even if you are consuming them by adding them to water, they can still cause damage.
The small and hard husks of the popcorns can get trapped within the teeth. If they are not removed quickly, they can cause cavities, which can turn into an abscess. So, it is important to brush and floss after enjoying your bag of popcorn to avoid these problems.
An apple a day can keep a doctor away, but not necessarily a dentist. Apples have high acid content and are hard on your enamel. Rinse your mouth after having an apple to get rid of the acid and sugars lingering in your mouth.
That’s another food item that we are sure you never knew could be damaging your teeth. Peanut butter is sticky and a lot of brands of peanut butter contain sugar to make it more appetizing. It not only feeds bacteria in your mouth but also makes it easier for them to stick to your teeth. Always opt for natural peanut butter with no added sugar.
Salad is probably the healthiest food you can eat but the dressing that goes on it often contains honey, sugar, lemon, vinegar, and other sugary things that can damage your teeth.
Sugar-free soft drinks
Sugar-free soft drinks are not as tooth-friendly as you may assume. Even though they contain less/no sugar, they are still extremely acidic. This can cause severe erosion of the tooth enamel.
Tea and coffee
Tea and coffee are healthy beverage choices but the sugar in them can be damaging to your teeth. They also tend to dry out the mouth and can stain your teeth.
You cannot obviously stop consuming these foods, but you can make it a habit to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth after consuming these items. Also, regular dental check-ups are extremely important to identify any potential dental issues in time before they turn into something serious.