Many of us know that brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly are essential to our oral health. But your diet plays a bigger part than you may realize. Dr. James White, a dentist in Las Vegas, NV, highlights some foods you should avoid or limit to keep your smile healthy.
1. Hard Candy
Chewy candy is known to get stuck in hard to reach places in your mouth. But hard candy doesn’t make a good substitute. While it doesn’t get caught in your teeth, it’s emitting sugar the entire time it’s dissolving in your mouth. Harmful oral bacteria feed off this sugar and release an acidic byproduct that eats through tooth enamel. The longer it takes to dissolve, the longer this is occurring in your mouth.
Hard candy can also send you for an emergency dentistry visit. If it hasn’t dissolved enough or you bite down at the wrong angle, you risk breaking, chipping, or cracking your teeth. If you’re lucky, it’ll just be a cosmetic issue. But if something bigger happens, accompanied by a lot of pain, it’s time to call your Las Vegas dentist.
2. Dried Fruit
Fruit is one of the acceptable substitutions for candy to take care of your sweet tooth cravings. However, you should probably stick to the fresh version. Dried fruit often ends up having a texture similar to chewy candy. It also becomes more concentrated with sugar and loses nutrients during the drying process. In the end, it’s not much better than candy for your teeth.
3. Sports Drinks
Many of us reach for these thinking that they’re healthier than soda or energy drinks. But when you look at the nutrition facts, you’ll realize that they have comparable sugar contents to those other drinks. Many sports drinks are also flavored with citric acid. The combination of acid with a lot of sugar is extremely harmful to your tooth enamel.
4. Crackers and Chips
When you’re reaching for a salty snack, you usually don’t think to worry about the sugar content. Crackers and chips are both made from starches, which break down into sugars as you chew and digest them. Chip pieces often get stuck between teeth, while crackers turn into a paste that lays in the crevices of your molars. If you’re eating these snacks, make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after.
Water is one of the best things you can consume for your smile — in its liquid form. Chewing ice regularly makes your teeth wear down faster than they would normally. It also carries the same risk as hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong time or at the wrong angle, you could risk breaking your tooth or dental restoration.
Visit Your Dentist in Las Vegas, Nevada
Make sure that your diet isn’t harming your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.