Foods that Can Harm Your Teeth
Our teeth are strong enough to bite into and chew pretty much any foods we eat. But some foods can pose problems for our teeth anyway.
Foods and drinks that are high in sugar are harmful to your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth consume these sugars and produce acid, which wears away the tooth enamel and leads to cavities and tooth decay. Some foods that are especially high in sugars include:
• Juices – many people think of juice and sports drinks as a healthy alternative to soda. But these beverages are often loaded with sugars. Even 100% juice contains lots of naturally-occurring sugar, which is just as harmful as the artificial stuff.
• Cough suppressants – People consume cough drops and syrups with no awareness of the high amounts of sugars that are added to these products. If you need to use them, drink lots of water to wash away the sugar, and brush your teeth often.
• Foods high in carbohydrates – Carbohydrates consist of sugars and starches. The acid-producing bacteria feed on the starches as well as the sugars.
Another food to be careful with are lemons. Lemons do not contain a lot of sugar, so most people do not think of them as harmful. But lemons are high in acid, and this acid wears down our tooth enamel just like the acid from bacteria. Rather than sucking on lemon slices to get your sour fix, a better solution for lemon lovers is to drink lemonade instead.
Having a professional cleaning and routine dental exam every six months is a good way to monitor your teeth for early signs of problems. Early detection of cavities can avoid the need for more expensive restorative treatments down the road.
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