We all know how important it is to look after our teeth and yet there are so many ways in which you can damage your teeth, sometimes without even noticing.
A lot of damage is done over time by certain foods and drinks, most commonly those which are sugary or acidic, which when consumed excessively cause damage such as cavities, chipped teeth and staining.
Read this guide from Bosden Farm Dental on which food and drinks can damage your teeth.
Chocolate and Sweets
This is always going to be top of the list of harmful food due to the high sugar content in most varieties. Milk chocolate contains more sugar than dark chocolate and it’s this that keeps you wanting more. Most sweets and candies contain huge amounts of sugar and that’s why it causes decay and cavities, as sugars combine with the bacteria in your mouth to eventually form plaque and tartar. Hard-boiled sweets and toffees can also damage the teeth by causing cracks in the enamel or even pulling out fillings. Try not to eat chocolate or sweets last thing at night as less saliva is produced at night to wash remnants away.
We should all try to eat more fruit but go easy on the dried variety. Dried fruits often contain a more concentrated form of naturally occurring fructose and because dried fruits are usually quite sticky they can tend to stick in and around the teeth. This means that the sugars have more time in which to do damage. Drink water and swill around the mouth to wash away remaining debris after eating dried fruits.
Potato Crisps and Other Similar Snack Items
Some crisps and other savoury snacks can surprisingly contain lots of sugar! Crisps can, when eaten, break down into tiny pieces which become lodged between the teeth and along the gumline where they sit ready to cause soreness in the gums as well as plaque on the teeth. Drink plenty of water after eating crisps to help reduce these negative effects.
It may be tempting on a hot day to take an ice cube from the freezer and place it in the mouth to help cool you down. The problem here is that you would probably start to chew it and this could chip, crack or break your teeth, resulting in a visit to an emergency dentist.
Red wine is well known for staining teeth as well as your tongue but did you know that white wine can be damaging for teeth too? This is due to the acidity content of white wine which attacks tooth enamel, which weakens the teeth and can lead to costly repair work.
Fizzy drinks, particularly cola, contain huge amounts of sugar and even the sugar-free varieties can still cause damage as these tend to contain citric and tartaric acids, all of which can erode tooth enamel and cause decay over time. It is recommended that you either drink fizzy drinks through a straw to minimise contact with the teeth or drink water afterwards to wash away any residue.
Tea and Coffee
Limit your daily intake of tea and coffee to minimise staining of the teeth. Remember also that caffeinated drinks such as these can help to dry the mouth and worsen bad breath. Heavily stained teeth benefit from teeth whitening to bring them back to pristine condition, but this can be costly and should be seen as a last-resort repair.
How to Look After Your Oral Health
Keeping regular check-up appointments with your dentist is the best way to monitor your oral health and nip problems in the bud. Look for a practice which offers teeth whitening services if you feel your teeth need a bright new look, and then remember to avoid the above foods and drinks to minimise the damage caused to your teeth..