From the time people are little children, they are told by parents and dental professionals to avoid sugary treats that can damage tooth enamel. However, many people aren’t aware that there are other foods that can also be responsible for tooth decay. Here are 5 foods that you may be eating every day without being aware that they can damage your teeth.
Citrus fruits are high in vitamins that are important for general health, but the acid in these fruits can be highly damaging to tooth enamel. Lemons and limes are particularly damaging to teeth, but grapefruit can also be as erosive on teeth as drinking a can of Coca-Cola. Limit your snacking on whole oranges or drinking water flavored with lemon, and drink a glass of plain water afterward to dilute the acidic effects.
Nothing perks up a sandwich like a pickle. A number of pickled foods are common in certain types of ethnic cooking. Although these foods do provide a flavor burst, they are also highly acidic, which can erode tooth enamel. They may also contain large amounts of sugar, as well. You can still enjoy these foods if you eat a bit of cheese afterward to counteract the acid. You can also keep some sugar-free, xylitol-containing gum on hand to neutralize the acid and moisten tooth surfaces.
Almonds are recommended by dieticians for their vitamin E and healthy fats, but almonds are also among the hardest nut varieties that can damage teeth when consumed on a daily basis. Dental professionals advise purchasing sliced almonds that provide all the benefits with less wear on teeth.
You may not be able to envision starting the day without your coffee, but you should know that the staining caused by your favorite beverage can also increase your risk for cavities. Having iced coffee instead, and sipping it through a straw, can help to limit its contact with your teeth. You can also add a bit of milk to reduce the acidity of the coffee.
Although dried fruit is a great snack for on the go, the drying process concentrates the sugar in the fruit, making it stickier and more damaging to teeth. You can take along your dried fruit snacks to keep you energized during the day, but always remember to follow them with a refreshing glass of water that will help to clean off your teeth.
If you want to do the utmost to help preserve your teeth, Smile Makers Dental would suggest to carefully monitor the foods you consume to avoid those that can damage tooth enamel. If you do consume these foods, brush carefully after eating to minimize the damage.