5 Foods That Harm Your Teeth (That You’re Still Eating Every Day)
At our Brookfield, Illinois, dental office, we don’t ask our patients to remove any types of foods from their diet. Some foods, however, are best eaten in moderation because they can cause harm to your teeth when they’re consumed frequently. We believe that you have the right to make educated choices about your health, and many people don’t realize that these foods can be problematic.
Take a look and see if you are eating any of these foods and then make an informed choice about whether and how often you want to include them in your diet.
Many people assume that the problem with pop is the sugar content and believe that if they switch to diet drinks that their teeth will be fine. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. The problem with pop isn’t just the sugar (although we certainly don’t recommend giving your teeth a sugar bath every day), but the acids, which are also present in diet drinks. These acids can weaken your enamel and are often a culprit in staining, as well. If you’d like to indulge in pop once in a while, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
You knew candy was going to be somewhere on this list, right. But some candies are worse for your teeth than others. Hard candies are problematic for a few reasons. First, they take a much longer time to eat so the sugars remain in your mouth and on your teeth longer than, say, a chocolate bar. Second, biting into these candies is hard on your teeth and is a common reason that we see patients for cracked teeth or restorations. Third, these candies are often sticky, which means that they can actually pull on restorations and sealants and create problems (or weaken them so that bacteria can get beneath them).
Nutritionally speaking, pasta sauce is pretty good for you, especially if you make it yourself using fresh tomatoes. Sadly, it’s not quite as good for your teeth. The combination of the acid from the tomatoes and the bright color of the sauce delivers a one-two punch – the acid makes your enamel temporarily more porous and then the redness of the sauce can get in and stain your teeth. You can reduce this effect by drinking plenty of water while you eat and making sure to brush your teeth afterward.
“Hang on,” you’re saying. “I thought red wine was the problem because it stains your teeth!” You’re right – red wine is a common cause of tooth staining. But white wine contains acids that aren’t in red wine, and these acids can also harm your teeth. If you’re combining white wine with a dark-colored food, then you’re leaving your teeth vulnerable.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Did you send your child to school with a PB&J? You might want to rethink that. A PB&J is essentially sugar combined with sugar and spread on sugar. Yikes. Plus, the stickiness of the peanut butter and the jelly make it easier for the bacteria that love to feed on this sugar (and create cavities) to stick to your teeth for a long period of time. While brushing after eating will help, how likely is it that your child is going to brush after eating lunch at school?
If you have any questions or want some substitutions that are better for your teeth, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Brookfield dentist Dr. Forte!