We all want a bright, white smile to flash at people when we first meet them, and having a good oral health routine is the best route to keeping our teeth looking their best. In addition to the cosmetic benefits, a healthy mouth reduces the risk of suffering infections or pain, and therefore avoids emergency trips to the dentist and those nerve wracking treatments. Another consideration when visiting the dentist is the cost, and since only certain basic treatments are available on the NHS, anything you can do to prevent tooth decay can save you money and inconvenience. As well as a good hygiene routine, it’s essential to avoid certain foods, or take precautions when you enjoy them, and here are some of the main culprits for tooth decay.
While fruit is an essential part of any diet, and citrus fruits have plenty of vitamins that you need; they also have some of the highest acidic contents of any food, and this can attack your enamel and cause damage. You can still enjoy a glass of your favourite freshly squeezed juice, or a healthy snack, but don’t brush your teeth straight afterwards as this can cause further damage. Your own saliva will slowly neutralise the acid in your mouth, and you can then just brush as usual.
Whether they’re natural, healthy snacks, or processed treats, foods that have a sticky texture stay on the teeth for longer, and can therefore cause more damage. If your teeth remain untreated, this can lead to all kinds of oral health issues, and you may need an implant from The New Tooth Company to replace any gaps. Therefore you should cut down on chewy foods, and make sure you rinse with water and floss to remove any leftovers.
Examples of sticky foods include:
Foods that are high in starches such as crisps, breaded treats, and cereals can leave traces of food on and between your teeth, and this can speed up the process of decay. If you have been munching on these treats, then be sure to pay close attention when flossing, and make sure you have a good mouthwash that kills off oral bacteria. Keep in mind that processed foods can also be high in sugars, and are best kept as an occasional treat.
Although ice is made of water, and therefore doesn’t have any harmful ingredients for your teeth, bad habits such as chewing ice can cause damage to your mouth over time. The hardness of the ice can cause micro-fractures, which then become serious cracks, and the cold temperature can cause your mouth to become more sensitive to both hot and cold foods.
While you may eat a balanced diet, and avoid the obvious tooth damaging drinks such as fizzy soda, there are many other hot and cold beverages that can also have negative effects.
If you add sugar or sweeteners to your tea or coffee, then they can cause enamel erosion, and the slow sipping of these drinks can make the damage go on for longer. You may also notice stains on your teeth if you enjoy hot drinks daily, and so you should consider cutting down and switching to water or natural herbal teas.
Red wine is also notorious for staining teeth, and many alcoholic drinks are also full of sugar making them a bad choice in terms of oral health. Another way that alcohol can effect your teeth is by drying out your mouth, and so alternating between your favourite cocktails and glasses of water can lessen the effects, as well as helping you avoid a hangover.
There are lots of things that can damage your teeth, whether quickly, or over time, and this can cause tooth decay, discolouration, and even the loss of teeth. Therefore it’s essential to avoid the worst food and drinks, and to follow a proper routine for cleaning, at least twice a day. Whether it’s cutting down on fizzy sodas, or swapping your morning snack of a healthy orange for a less acidic fruit, even small changes can add up over time, and helps keep your smile looking its best.