Health

3 of the worst foods for your teeth and how to prevent damage, according to dental experts

Candy isn’t good for your teeth, but it’s not the only thing to consider for better oral health.

“It’s not just the obvious sugary treats that pose a risk to teeth,” Whitney DiFoggio, a registered dental hygienist, told CBS News. “Some less suspect culprits can be just as harmful.”

The worst offenders you might not realize?

Sweet or sour drinks: This includes your favorite sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and even Juice. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Lana Rozenberg called them “the biggest culprits.”

Any drink with a high amount of sugar “gets stuck in your teeth and that’s really bad for your teeth because it can lead to cavities,” she said.

Acidic foods and drinks can also be harmful, including coffee, wine and, again, fruit juices.

Acidity can “erode tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities, tooth decay, sensitivity, and more.” ” Rozenberg said. “Especially if you consume large quantities.”

Sticky foods: While this includes sweets like gummies, it also applies to “healthy foods” like dried fruit that you may not realize are still sticking to your teeth.

“These are known to stick to teeth and get stuck in crevices, making them difficult to clean and thus presenting a greater risk of decay,” DiFoggio said.

Fermentable carbohydrates: This includes items like bread, pasta, chips and saltine crackers. The problem is that they “break down into sugars right in the mouth, sticking to teeth and increasing the risk of tooth decay,” DiFoggio said. “These foods easily stick to and between teeth, trapping the sugars that bacteria feed on, producing harmful acids.”

How to Prevent Dental Damage from Food and Drink

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up these foods to have healthy teeth. There are ways to reduce their harmful effects, experts say, beyond maintaining good oral hygiene like daily brushing and flossing. Here’s how:

Order: “The order in which you eat foods can impact your dental health,” DiFoggio said. “Eating healthier, fibrous foods like apples or carrots after consuming sugary or sticky foods can help clean your teeth naturally by dislodging food particles and sugars, effectively reducing the risk of plaque buildup and of tooth decay.”

Water gains: Drink water When you eat and stirring with it afterward can help remove food particles and sugars from the mouth, experts say. “We definitely want to wash it with water and brush about an hour later, not right awaybut an hour later,” Rozenberg said.

Eraser time: Although sticky, chewing gum containing xylitol — a sweetener used in many sugar-free gums — can “help increase saliva flow to remove food debris and neutralize acid more effectively,” says DiFoggio.

Your saliva is also a natural cleaner, Rozenberg said, so “the more you chew, the more saliva you produce, the cleaner your teeth will be.”

News Source : www.cbsnews.com
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