10 Foods You Didn’t Know Were Damaging Your Teeth
by Robert Milton
Most people know candy and other sugary foods wreak havoc on their teeth, but how about fruit?
You’ve probably heard brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to keep your teeth healthy. But some foods cause enough damage to warrant extra cleanings.
How does food damage your teeth?
There are two main elements of food that tarnish your pearly whites: sugar and acid.
Sugars, especially sucrose (table sugar), feed the millions of bacteria already in your mouth. Bacteria feast on your plaque buildup and produce lactic acid, which erodes your tooth enamel. Sucrose is the worst form of sugar because it adheres to teeth very strongly making it (and the bacteria) difficult to remove even when brushing.
Acids naturally occur in many foods, including fruit. In these cases, bacteria aren’t necessary to produce acid and cause tooth decay. Instead, acidic foods eat away at your enamel and break down your teeth directly.
Generally you can wash away natural acids by drinking water. Ironically, brushing soon after consuming acidic foods or beverages can actually cause more damage. Because teeth are porous, brushing softens them and makes them more susceptible to acid. After eating acidic foods, you should wait at least an hour before brushing.
What foods should you worry about?
In addition to the sugar and acid in foods, you should consider the length of time food is left on your teeth. The more time bacteria have to produce acids, the more damage will be done.
While many of these foods are healthy for other reasons, you should try and care for your teeth soon after eating them. Drinking water with your meal, chewing sugar-less gum, rinsing with an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash or flossing and brushing with toothpaste reduces the risk of damage.
Look out for:
•Sugar and/or acid content
•Stickiness (how much food remains on teeth)
•How long the food is in your mouth
10 Foods That Damage Your Teeth
Apples are high in acid, are surprisingly hard on your enamel. While a daily apple may keep the doctor away, the acid might keep your dentist on speed dial. Eating apples is fine, just be sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash shortly after.
2. Hard candies
Though you probably know the sugar in candy is a problem, hard candies are especially harmful because we tend to hold them in our mouths longer. Also be aware that cough drops are often made with sugar, so opt for the sugar-free brand if available.
3. Pickled vegetables
Pickles are made with vinegar, which is acidic, and often sugar as well. While the vegetables are healthy, the brine is can damage your teeth. Drinking water with your meal helps wash away acids and sugar, but remember to brush an hour later.
Many breads contain sugar—especially processed white breads. It’s best to check the labels for any added sweeteners that will breed mouth bacteria. Bread is also sticky and gets between and behind your teeth.
Popcorn is notorious for getting stuck in your teeth, and the areas between your teeth will cultivate more bacteria for that reason. It’s okay to treat yourself to a bag of popcorn as long as you rinse with water and remember to floss and brush after.
6. Peanut butter
Sticky and often made with sugar, peanut butter not only feeds bacteria but makes it easier for them to adhere to teeth. Look for natural peanut butters with no added sugars to lessen the problem.
Along with peanut butter, jelly or jam is loaded with sugar and quite sticky. Even the all-fruit brands contain natural sugars and encourage plaque and bacteria if not washed away soon.
Meat tends to get stuck between your teeth, and some meat products contain sugar as a preservative. While the amount may not be very high, any food that sits between your teeth can promote tooth decay. Try chewing sugar-less gum after eating if you can’t brush right away.
9. Diet soda
Just because it doesn’t have sugar doesn’t mean your teeth are safe. The acidity of diet sodas is still extremely high, making it one of the worst products for your teeth.
10. Salad dressing
More of a condiment than a food, salad dressings use vinegar and sugar for flavor. Salads should be a staple in anyone’s diet, but be careful of the dressings that can harm your smile.
What are your tips to reduce tooth decay?
PEOPLE OFTEN TURN TO fancy-pants hair styles, costly skin care procedures, hip wardrobes, or even surgical procedures to look and feel younger. However, studies have shown that your smile can do more to make you look younger than anything else!
Even when you take good care of your teeth, over time they naturally yellow. Microfractures, thinning enamel, and built-up stains all make your teeth look duller and older. But, that can be changed with professional smile whitening from our office!
3 Tips That Help Make Your Smile Pop!
- Whiten your smile! It’s safe and affordable.
- Find shades of lipstick that suit you. Certain shades can make your teeth look brighter and your skin look more youthful.
- Relax your jaw. This lifts your facial muscles.
We Offer Safe, Effective Whitening
Be Confident In Your Smile
One of the best ways to appear more youthful is to smile more! This can start a wonderful cycle too! Smiling more can actually make you happier, and make you want to smile more.
So make sure you’re confident in your smile.
Right Now, Smile Whitening Also Helps Kids In Need!
Thanks to the Smiles For Life Campaign you can whiten your teeth, regain your confidence, AND help a child.
We participate in the Smiles For Life campaign. Smiles For Life raises money for ill, disabled and underprivileged children both locally, and around the world.
Here’s How It Works:
Make Your Contribution Today
It’s easy for you to be a part of it! Make a whitening appointment with us today.
Spread the word! Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference by simply sharing this opportunity on your social media accounts, such as Facebook!
Thanks for helping us make a difference in children’s lives!
Newman Springs Dental Care is offering one $500 scholarship for a Holmdel High School graduating senior planning a career in health care. This includes medicine, nursing, dentistry, chiropractic, physical therapy, and other areas of healthcare.
Newman Springs Dental Care is a dental practice in Lincroft dedicated to providing general, cosmetic and sedation dentistry to the citizens of Middletown and surrounding areas. “The community has been so great to the team at Newman Springs Dental Care —we wanted to give something back!” says Dr. Mitchel Friedman.
Dr. Friedman’s 3 children are products of the Holmdel public school system and he wants to support higher education. This is the 5th year that the scholarship has been provided.
Scholarship applications have been sent to the high school guidance departments and are also available via email: scholarship@DrFriedman.biz
Applications must be received by April 17 to be considered. Winning applicants will be notified by mail or phone no later than May 1, 2014. Award certificates will be presented at a special ceremony at the dental office and at the school’s senior awards ceremony. Award checks will be mailed directly to the institution of higher education upon verification of enrollment.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us at Newman Springs Dental Care to remind our patients that the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health; keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too.
Diabetes is the result of a deficiency, or lack of the hormone insulin to properly transport glucose (blood sugar) to the cells throughout the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common types of diabetes are Type One (five percent) , Type Two (90-95 percent of cases) , and gestational or pregnancy diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing diabetes, mostly Type Two, in the ten to 20 years following their pregnancy.
In the past decade, researchers have found links between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but diabetes may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.
Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage. There is some good news we want you to know, however; you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our office for an exam. Patients who are living with diabetes may require more often visits to ensure their dental health remains in tip-top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients, and we can tell you how often you need to come in for an appointment.
For more information on how we can help, please give us a call for free, friendly phone advise!