Foods and Drinks that Erode Teeth
You try to stick to a healthy diet, avoiding sugary sodas and sticky candies that can damage your teeth. However, sometimes even healthy foods can cause tooth erosion. It pays to be mindful of the signs of eroded tooth enamel and avoid foods that can negatively impact the health of your teeth.
First, what are the symptoms of tooth enamel erosion? You might notice that your teeth feel sensitive when you eat or drink something hot or cold. You might also notice that your fillings or even your teeth have changed color. If your enamel erodes to an extreme degree, you might lose a tooth or develop an abscess. So, what foods should you avoid to prevent these problems?
- Citrus Fruit: The high acid content in citrus can damage your teeth. In fact, even things with citrus flavoring can wear down your enamel.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are good for your body, but they can be rough on your teeth. This is because they’re acidic. If you eat tomato sauce on pasta, you’re doing your teeth a double disservice, because the tomatoes break down your enamel and the carbs in pasta feed cavity-causing bacteria.
- Dried Fruits: Even though it’s nutrient-dense, dried fruit can damage your teeth. It’s sticky, and has sugar, so if you don’t immediately get all that sticky fruit off of your teeth, the sugar will erode your enamel.
- Carbonated Beverages: Even when they’re sugar free, soft drinks have carbonation that can wear away your enamel. You’re better off with unsweetened tea or water, but if you do drink soft drinks, don’t brush immediately. You might think that cleaning the soda off of your teeth immediately is a good idea, but brushing after your enamel has been weakened by carbonation can erode it further.
- Pickles: Because of the acid required for the pickling process, pickles can cause staining and tooth erosion. Some pickles also have sugar, which makes them even more likely to cause cavities.
- Wine: Both white and red wine have enamel-softening acid, but red wine also contains compounds called tannins that can dry your mouth and stain your teeth.
- Sports Drinks: These beverages are high-carb, sugary, acidic, and thick enough to stick to your teeth.
- Crackers: Because they’re refined carbohydrates, crackers can cause inflammation in the body. Crackers also stick to your teeth, which can promote tooth decay.
- Sugar: Of course, you’ve known since childhood that sugar causes cavities. It’s important to note, however, that sugar isn’t only found in sweet treats, but also in processed foods.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
How to Stop Drinking Soda and Other Sugary Drinks
Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are highly popular in the United States. According to the CDC, about half of all adults and 63 percent of teens consume at least one sugary drink every day. Despite its popularity, most people know that drinking soda is unhealthy. The empty calories and sugar in soda are linked to obesity, diabetes, weight gain, and various chronic conditions. Soda also hurts your teeth. Sugar and acid (found in both regular and diet soda) erode protective tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
If you have a goal to stop drinking soda, you may be unsure how to overcome your cravings. Follow these tips to lower your sugary drink intake and benefit your oral and overall health.
- Drink more water: Sometimes, you may crave soda if you’re simply thirsty. Drink a tall glass of water and see if the craving subsides. Water is exactly what your body needs to stay hydrated without any added sugar, acidity, calories, or artificial colors and sweeteners.
- Stop buying soda: Make it harder to give in to your cravings by never keeping soda in the house. This may require you to get the whole family on board with your goal to stop drinking sugary drinks.
- Replace soda with healthy alternatives: Curb your soda cravings by drinking flavored sparkling water, kombucha, green tea, or coconut water. You may find these satisfy your craving better than plain water because they more closely resemble soda. However, don’t replace soda with fruit juice, which can have a surprising amount of added sugar and empty calories.
- Curb your cravings: Take your mind off soda by chewing gum or snacking on a sweet, healthy treat, such as apple slices, berries, grapes, yogurt, or a smoothie.
- Manage your stress levels: Stress can induce cravings for soda and other unhealthy food. As a result, stressed individuals tend to consume more calories than non-stressed people. Healthy ways to manage stress include physical exercise, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, journaling, and counseling.
- Create a support system: If you’re serious about not drinking soda, don’t keep it a secret. Tell your friends and family so they can help you stay accountable. Sharing your goal also gives you people to talk to when a craving strikes.
- Drink in moderation: If you decide to have soda occasionally, limit the damage by having no more than one drink per day. Also, avoid drinking soda close to bedtime, use a straw, and rinse your mouth with water afterward. Wait to brush for at least 30 minutes so your acid-attacked teeth have time to recover before you subject them to the friction of your toothbrush.
Whether you cut out soda entirely or continue to drink it in moderation, regular dental cleanings are vital for maintaining a healthy smile. Contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to schedule your next visit to our NYC dentist office. We provide services in a spa-like environment to ensure your complete comfort and satisfaction.
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