Wellness

4 Treats to avoid for better teeth

A young woman getting ready to eat a cupcake.

It seems that at every family gathering or holiday celebration, the menu features starchy breads, sugary treats and alcohol. Dentists say that as people enjoy these foods and drinks, oral bacteria also have a feast. When oral bacteria connect with sugars and starches in the mouth, acid is produced. The acid attacks tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes each time. This is why regularly eating starches and sugars can weaken tooth surfaces, causing tooth decay and gum disease. Here are four treats to avoid for better teeth.

Starchy foods and treats

Soft breads and chips are two types of common starchy foods that saliva can turn into sugars. These foods stick to tooth surfaces and, if not removed, can cause decay. While it’s difficult to avoid these treats, choosing healthier snacks can help you have better teeth.

  1. Starchy foods and treats – Soft breads and chips are two types of common starchy foods that saliva can turn into sugars. These foods stick to tooth surfaces and, if not removed, can cause decay. While it’s difficult to avoid these treats, choosing healthier snacks can help you have better teeth.
  2. Carbonated soft drinks – Many energy drinks and soft drinks are loaded with sugars. They also can contain phosphoric and citrus acids that attack tooth enamel. Research shows that if you sip soda all day, you’re coating your teeth with acid that can damage your teeth. It also softens tooth enamel. So dentists advise that after drinking a soda, wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth. Or, avoid or limit sugary drinks, and drink water for better teeth.
  3. Candies and sweets – Stay away from sugary treats that can stick to your teeth. Start by avoiding caramels, gumdrops, taffy, caramel corn, peanut brittle, dried fruit, chocolate-covered raisins and high-energy sports bars. After eating sugary treats, chew sugarless gum to get your saliva flowing. Also, swish your mouth with water to remove sugars and food particles stuck to tooth surfaces. Keep your teeth in better shape by rinsing or brushing after consuming treats.
  4. Alcohol drinks – Alcohol can dry out oral tissues, allowing bacteria to stick to your teeth and cause decay. Avoid the alcohol or drink a glass of water in between drinks. Why not protect your teeth? Some medications also can cause dry mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, ask your doctor how to combat the issue. Or look for over-the-counter remedies at the drug store.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

There are several things you can do to prevent tooth decay and maintain good oral health and better teeth. Start by brushing at least twice a day. Brush gently for two minutes each time. Brush after breakfast and at bedtime, and floss every day, too. Next, eat nutritious and healthy foods. And, of course, visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. If you need help choosing a dentist, follow these five tips.

Sources:
Health

University of Rochester Medical Center
Mouth Healthy

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