The Food one eats and the beverages one drinks can lead to the development of tooth decay, depending upon:
-The form of food whether it is liquid, solid, sticky or slow to dissolve
-How often one eats sugary foods and beverages and how often one eats or drinks acidic foods and beverages
-The nutritional value of the food
-The combination of food one eats and the order in which one eats it
-Medical conditions such as gastrointestinal reflux and eating disorders can increase the risk of cavities and thus tooth decay
Food that may damage your teeth
1. Hard candies
Though hard candies seem tempting and harmless, eating too many of them can lead to constant exposure to sugar which can be harmful to your teeth. In addition, hard candies can increase the risk of a dental emergency such as a broken or a chipped tooth. An alternate to these hard candies are sugarless gums that carry IDA seal.
It is generally a misconception that ice is good for your teeth, after all, it’s natural to think that ice is made of water without any sugar or any other additive, but the truth is that chewing on hard substances make teeth vulnerable to dental emergencies and it may also damage the dental enamel(white tooth portion).
3. Excessive citrus intake
Excessive intake of acidic food can erode the tooth enamel, making the tooth more vulnerable to tooth decay. Drink plenty of plain water instead of drinking lime sodas.
4. Frequent coffee or tea intake
Coffee or tea can be a healthy beverage choice but excessive consumption of both may stain teeth. If you are in a habit of taking coffee or tea frequently, make sure you have plenty of water to counteract the effect.
5. Sticky foods
Many people relish sticky foods but the truth is that they have a potency to cause tooth decay as it stays on the tooth surface for a longer time, giving more time to harmful bacteria to act over it causing tooth decay. Parents should ensure that children rinse their mouth with water after consumption of sticky candies and chocolates.
6. Potato chips
Everyone loves the nice, satisfying crunch of potato chips, unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch that gets trapped in teeth causing tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water and floss teeth after consumption.
7. Soft drinks
Carbonated soft drinks have dual effect on teeth as they are both acidic and sweet which increases the risk of tooth decay .Caffeinated beverages, such as colas tend to dry one’s mouth.
8. Excessive alcohol consumption
Alcohol causes dehydration and dries your mouth. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to reduced salivary flow over time, further it can lead to increased risk of tooth decay and other oral infections. Try to curb the frequency of alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water to compensate for the dehydration.
9. Sports drinks
For many sports or energy drinks, sugar is the key component. Though sports drinks are helpful for people involved in prolonged physical or strenuous activities, the sugar content in it is harmful for the teeth. Check the label before consuming any sports drink.
Food that may benefit Dental Health
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and Vitamin D which is essential for tooth development, especially in children.
Cheese is considered as an anti-cavity food as it stimulates saliva secretion and decreases the risk of tooth decay.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and Vegetables have a high amount of fiber and water content, which balance the sugar they contain and thus help to clean the teeth. They also stimulate salivary secretion which washes away the harmful bacteria and debris. In addition, fruits and vegetables are rich sources of Vitamin C (essential for healthy gums and healing of wounds) and Vitamin A (key ingredient required in building tooth enamel).
4 . Protein rich foods
Protein rich foods such as meat, fish, milk, eggs are the best source of phosphorus. Both Calcium and Phosphorus together have a critical role in protecting and rebuilding the tooth enamel.
5. Fluoridated water
Water, particularly fluoridated water is the best beverage for keeping your teeth healthy.