In today’s post, I will be sharing with you what food is bad for teeth.
Food that you eat daily that could potentially contribute towards tooth decay without you knowing it.
So if you are looking to avoid as much “bad food”, please read on.
So let’s dive in now.
Last week, I shared on What Food Is Good For Teeth, I hope that was beneficial to you.
But aren’t we guilty of an occasional snack that we know we should not eat, but we can’t help it, because it just tastes so so good?
Culprit Identified – Bacteria
There is nothing wrong if you want to indulge in food that satisfies your taste buds. But the dangers arise when this ever-present bacteria is always lurking in your mouth.
The moment you eat food, these bacteria thrive by feeding and partying with the sugars to produce acid. Acid over time will weaken and dissolve your enamel and cause cavity.
Plaque is the sticky residue that stays on the teeth long after the meals are passed through the mouth.
Maintaining good oral habits like brushing twice a day helps to keep a tight check on these acids forming. It is still better to reduce the number of chances of letting these foods and drinks create havoc in your mouth.
List of Food To Avoid
All Types Of Candies – Hard, Sweet and Sour
When it comes to attracting children and adults in candy, various products come to mind.
Starting from pepper minted chewing gum, hard candy, chewy candy, we know the latest trend is none other than sour candy. Even my 12-year-old boy is a fan of this sour candy.
Let’s examine its success.
“IRI, a Chicago-based research firm, reported the $3.73 billion non-chocolate chewy categories grew by 3 percent in the year ending Feb. 24, 2019.”
Just looking at sales figures alone, they are in millions.
Just to name a few, Mondelez International’s Sour Patch Kids pulled in just over $197 million in 2018, along with Sour Brite Crawlers at $133.6 million. Airheads Xtremes earned $98.3 million and SweeTARTS brought in just over $69 million in the same 12-month period.
Source : Candy Industry
Hard candy can give a chance for your teeth to chip if you bite too hard into it.
Sweet Candy – There is so much sugar added onto sweet candy that by sucking on them, you are letting plaque build faster. If they are sticky, they will attach to the surfaces of your teeth. Saliva will have a difficult time washing it away.
Sour Candy gives off a sour sensation the moment it lands on your mouth, and sour and acid definitely work together.
All Things Sweet and Desserts
Sweet Cakes, pastries and puffs, tarts, and the wonderful desserts that catch your attention at a cake shop. The smell is too aromatic to miss.
Having a piece of cake is a forget-your-diet luxury and a treat that we give ourselves once a while. When I read the recipes for cakes, there is bound to have components of sugars like caster sugar and icing sugar. Innocently hidden under the cakes, they will make their way into our oral health system.
We know the story of how the sugars in this sweet stuff will stick and cause lots of acids to form when they are eaten. Not only are they high in calories and help you put on weight, they only hasten your tooth decay of you do not put them in check.
So the next time you visit a cake shop, stay away from the pretty showcases of mouth-watering cakes. Your teeth will thank you!
Carbohydrates – Starch and Sugar
I have always loved bread because it was such an easy food to eat in the mornings! Not much preparation other than spreading a choice of peanut butter, strawberry jam or Nutella. But plain bread has the hidden form of sugar in the form of carbohydrates.
The moment the bread gets into your mouth, carbohydrate, and the starch will turn to sugar, and then bacteria will rush in to mix with the sugar to form acid. Moreover, bread is sticky and I always find it hard to dislodge the pieces of bread stuck between the teeth.
This also applies to foods such as potato chips, pasta, and crackers. Starch made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay.
Dried Fruits and Granola
Granola and dried fruit have been heavily promoted as healthy alternatives to the sugar-coated cereals. However, they are sticky and chewy because of the sugars added to them, and it is easy to have them stuck between the edges of your teeth.
Sugar in Fruits
What about sugar in fruits? Aren’t they supposed to be natural and therefore not a concern?
There are 3 types of sugar – sucrose, lactose, and fructose.
Most of the sugar in fruit is called fructose. If you eat fruits on its own, you will benefit from the direct absorption of the fiber and the vitamins.
However, by juicing it, the fructose will be released into the juice, therefore experts always say to eat the fruit rather than to drink the juices.
Innocent fruit juice has just presented itself with sugars dissolved inside. A good guide is to limit to 150ml a day if you must juice.
Sugar in Processed Foods
Processed foods refer to the way foods are altered by way of baking, freezing, canned, dried, and pasteurized. Often salt, sugar, oil, and fat have been added to extend their shelf lives and enhance their taste for easy sales.
Examples of processed food are those commonly found in your pantry, like
- cakes and biscuits
- soft drinks
- sweet chocolates
- flavoured milk and yogurt
- Breakfast cereals
- peanut butter
- pasta sauces
- ketchup and chili sauces
Lemons, Grapefruits, and Oranges are all known as citrus fruits and contain acids. Adding lemon slices can give drinking water a boost in Vitamin C and adds to the taste of plain water.
However, the acidity of the lemon can actually erode your enamel. You should finish drinking your homemade lemon drink in one go, and rinse your mouth shortly after.
List of Drinks to Avoid
Soda, Soft Drinks and Diet Options
Sodas, Soft Drinks and Diet Options have made choosing a fizzy drink more exciting. But whichever you choose, they have combination of carbonated water, sugars and acids which are lethal ammunition to your under-protected teeth.
A can of Coca-Cola (330 ml) already contains 7.25 teaspoons of sugar, and that is almost the recommended level of 6 teaspoon(woman) to 9 teaspoon(man).
While Diet choices can give consolation to making you think you are drinking zero calories, but there are artificial sugar substitutes that you may not want in your bodies. Though diet sodas do not lead to tooth decay,(hooray!), you may end up with other possible problems like feeling more hungry and making you eat more.
Adding sugar to your drinks
Adding sugar to coffee and tea is so common to help us enhance the taste. The sugar that is dissolved in the coffee and tea, will act on your teeth the moment you drink it.
Other forms of sugar that can present itself in your drinks
- Beverages with added sugar: If you buy packet juices, do check the amount of sugar by checking the nutrition label. Sometimes the label says “No Sugar Added” but there is definitely some kind of sugars. If not, how can they be sweet? Consider alternatives such as water, tea, coffee, and coconut water.
- Fruit Juice Concentrate : We like to think that when we drink fruit juices from Fruit Juice Concentrate, we are reaping the benefits of fruit juice. Drinking Fruit Juice homemade is definitely better than buying a packet of Fruit Juice Concentrate. When you drink fruit juice, use a straw to keep it from having too much contact with your teeth or rinse with water afterward.
You may think what harm can something as natural as honey does to your oral health?
Honey can be seen as a natural sweetener, and because it is derived from bees, we tend to think that it is more healthy than white processed sugar.
Comparing with granulated sugar of 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar, honey contains 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar. If you use honey, you can put a lesser amount to achieve a sweet effect.
However, the average pH of honey is 3.9 but can range from 3.4 to 6.1. Honey contains many kinds of acids, both organic and amino. Honey is mainly fructose (about 38%) and glucose (about 32%), with remaining sugars including maltose, sucrose, and other complex carbohydrates.
Just because it is naturally derived, you still have to adhere to the maximum limit of sugar, which is 6 teaspoons a day.
Who doesn’t indulge in a glass of wine at times?
If you do not drink wine regularly, then this is not a worry for you.
Red wine contains alcohol which not only dries the mouth but also reduces saliva production. This leads to less saliva being able to give your teeth a protective coating. Also, red wine stains your teeth more than white wine.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cide Vinegar is very high in acid level, so that is why it is always advised to dilute 1 part of apple cider vinegar to 5 parts of water.
If you have been using apple cider vinegar which promotes great health, be aware of the harm that it can potentially harm your enamel if taken undiluted. Enamel when destroyed can never regrow back.
You may feel so discouraged when you read till here that everything that I have mentioned above, tastes nice, but it is not necessarily healthy for your teeth.
Well, this is not to stop you from consuming all these foods and drinks altogether.
But a reminder to exercise mindfulness when eating them and to control the quantities if you have minor decays present.
Here are some tips that can help you balance the need to eat these and how to exercise proper care.
1. If you must eat any of the above food or drink any of the above juices, just bear in mind to rinse with lots of water throughout the day.
What about you? Let me know in the comments below, how you limit yourselves to the food mentioned above?