The enamel covering your teeth is one of the hardest substances in the human body, but it is susceptible to damage, and if it starts to wear away, you could experience tooth sensitivity and cavities. If your enamel completely disappears, it cannot be replaced, which may result in the need for tooth extractions. There are some foods that are worst for your teeth than others. In order to avoid these scenarios, it’s important to avoid certain foods and limit your intake of other types of foods.
1. Acidic Foods
When you eat certain fruits, like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, you probably think about eating healthy for your body and increasing your intake of vitamin C. While this is true, citrus fruits also contain citric acid, which can wear away the enamel on your teeth. In order to keep your teeth healthy and your enamel strong, our dentist in Clermont, FL recommends limiting your intake of these fruits to once or twice a week and not brushing your teeth until at least 30 minutes after your last bite. This is because brushing your teeth immediately after eating citrus fruits can grind the acid into your enamel and increase the potential for damage.
2. Acid Containing Beverages
Like citrus fruits, acid-containing beverage can also increase the wear and tear on your enamel. Commonly consumed acidic drinks include coffee, tea, sodas, tomato juice, vinegar and any fruit juice made out of a citrus fruit, including lemonade, orange juice, and grapefruit juice. When you drink a beverage that has a high acidic content, the drink completely coats your teeth, which means no tooth is safe from the harmful effects of the acid.
Our dentist understands that these drinks are extremely popular. After all, most people have at least one cup of coffee after they wake up in the morning, and soda is a popular beverage during lunch. You may also wind down in the evening with a nice cup of tea. However, in order to protect your enamel and prevent cavities and tooth decay, we recommend limiting your consumption of these beverages to one or two a day and not sipping on these beverages all day. Instead, consider drinking more water, which helps clear your mouth of food particles while hydrating your body.
3. Sugary Drinks and Foods
While sugary foods and drinks don’t contain acid, they do contain sugar, which causes an acid attack in your mouth. Every time you drink an energy drink, full-sugar soda, fruit juice, cookies, candy, or cake, the bacteria in your mouth multiply rapidly. As the bacteria multiply, they create acid, and that acid can wear away your enamel, resulting in micro-cavities and eventually cavities that have to be filled. We recommend avoiding sugary drinks and foods and only having them on special occasions. After you finish your sugary food or drink, it’s important to drink water to help wash away all the sugar from your teeth. About 30 minutes after your last bite, it’s important to thoroughly brush your teeth and floss to remove any residual sugar and to clean the food particles from your teeth.
4. Sticky and Starchy Foods
Sticky and starchy foods like breads, corn muffins, pretzels, chips, and flour all contain starch, which is a simple carbohydrate. Unfortunately, simple carbs act just like sugar once they mix with saliva. When this happens, the bacteria in your mouth thrive and multiply, which means the same acid attack that occurs when you consume sugary foods and drinks also occurs when you eat foods that contain simple carbs. We recommend limiting your carb options by choosing whole-grain breads and cereals, which are better for your teeth and gums, as well as your body.
Don’t Forget Your Dental Checkups in Clermont, Florida
Along with proper at-home oral hygiene and limiting foods bad for your enamel, our dentist in Clermont, Florida recommends six-month dental checkups. Getting a dental checkup and teeth cleaning every six months can help prevent dental decay, cavities, and gum disease by ensuring that all the plaque and tartar on your teeth and below your gum line are removed.
To schedule your next dental checkup to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, give our Clermont family dentistry a call at 352-989-5815.