While we all know that drinking soda and eating candy can mean disaster for the health of our teeth, what’s less understood, is that the sugars and acids found in seemingly innocuous (even healthy) foods can also pose a risk to your oral health.
At Roane Family Dental, dentist in West Linn Dr. Matt Roane wants every patient to enjoy the very best oral health possible. So you can stay informed about potential risks to your oral health, here are a few culprits you may not have realized were hurting the health of your teeth, and how you can prevent damage to your oral health.
It’s just not fair that something so naturally delicious be so potentially damaging. While bottles of cold-pressed juice may contain plenty of good-for-the-body nutrients, juices also contain a high sugar content (some types of juice contain even more sugar than sodas and smoothies). Drinking them isn’t much different than bathing your teeth in chocolate. Considering the sugars we consume are used by bacteria in the mouth to produce harmful substances that erode away tooth enamel and cause cavities, it’s easy to see why juice presents such a problem.
The solution: Try sipping your juice through a straw. Using a straw helps keep the sugary liquid away from your teeth. Also, make sure to wait at least 45 minutes before brushing after drinking juice. Brushing immediately after the acid in juice has softened your teeth’s enamel can leave them even more susceptible to damage.
While chewable vitamins appeal to kids and adults because they taste like gummy candy, they’re not much better for your teeth. In fact, their sticky, sugary makeup adheres to the surface of your teeth so well that they can dramatically increase your risk of cavities.
The solution: drop the chewables and take your vitamins in pill form. While they may not taste as good, it’s certainly better than having to visit Dr. Roane to have a cavity filled.
Considering that summer has finally arrived and grills everywhere are heating up, it seems almost unfair to add barbecue sauce to our list of sneakily dangerous foods. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that the thick, sweetly tangy sauce marinating our pork and chicken also marinates our teeth in sugar (sadly, most BBQ sauce is full of it), which can potentially send you down the path of tooth discoloration and decay.
The solution: before you eat BBQ swipe a very small amount of petroleum jelly across the surface of your teeth to act as a barrier between your enamel and the sauce. If you can’t stand the taste or sensation of jelly on your teeth, try brushing right after eating.
While some types of fresh fruit actually help improve your oral health (think highly saturated foods like pears and apples), dried fruits never do. An otherwise healthy snack is loaded with non-cellulose fiber, which traps sugar on to the surface of your teeth in much the same way as gummy candy and chewable vitamins does.
The solution: take it off! Remove dried fruit from the surface of your teeth by brushing after you’ve eaten.
While red wine often gets the bad rap for staining the surface of your teeth, white wine is actually no better for your oral health. The acid in white wine eats away at tooth enamel and leaves teeth vulnerable to stains from other foods and drinks.
The solution: enjoy a cheese course with your wine! Cheese is high in calcium, protein, and phosphorous, all of which combine to help prevent the acids in white wine from damaging tooth enamel. Looking for a less high calorie approach – try rinsing with water to flush the acid out of your mouth after finishing your wine.