October 15, 2014
You really are what you eat, and although you may be proud of your new waistline thanks to healthier food choices, your dentist will tell you that you could be damaging your teeth and gums.
According to the Huffington Post foods that you think are good for you, can actually cause harm.
Most people know how damaging hard candy can be. Sucking on a piece of peppermint or butterscotch all day is like bathing your teeth in a tub of sugar. Unfortunately, your dentist understands that dried fruits can be just as bad. Dried prunes, figs, apricots, pineapple, and mango are covered in sugar and because of the stickiness in the fruit can be even worse than hard candy. Unless you rinse or brush after eating dried fruit, it will stick to your teeth. Beware of trail mix as well. Crunchy granola and so-called healthy snacks can also have their fair share of dried fruit.
Whole grain pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes may be better for your body, but even healthy carbohydrates can be damaging to your teeth. Those pre-digestive enzymes that your saliva contain quickly metabolize the carbs converting them to sugar and acid. These types of foods, especially rice and whole grain breads, can get caught in-between your teeth. Although you shouldn’t revert to white bread, remember to rinse after eating.
It’s not just coffee, tea and red wine that will stain your teeth. If you have been cutting back on sandwiches at lunchtime in favor of beef stir-fry, the soy sauce that you use could stain your teeth. Other foods such as curry and marinara sauce can turn your teeth from white to yellow. Even cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries can take their toll.
Citrus fruits can erode the enamel on your teeth. Never suck on a lemon and keep your intake of grapefruits, oranges, tomatoes, and limes to a minimum. Even better, enjoy citrus fruits as part of another meal. If you did have a tangerine as a snack after lunch, your dentist advises you to rinse with water immediately.
Believe it or not, Snapple’s, flavored antioxidant waters are loaded with sugar and contain the equivalent of a couple of Good Humor Éclair bars. Energy, vitamin, and sports drinks aren’t any better. Pack a bottle of good old-fashioned water when you head to the gym, or go for unsweetened juices.
Chews and gummies may make it easier for you to swallow your vitamins, but they are tolerable because of the sugar content. Not only are they loaded with the white stuff, but chewable vitamins can also get stuck between your teeth and in the fissures of your molars. If you must take vitamin chews, rinse with water immediately afterwards.
A healthy body includes your teeth and gums. Remember to brush twice and floss once a day and don’t forget to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist.