What Foods Encourage Tooth Decay?
Protect Your Teeth with Good Eating Habits
No matter how old you are, the reason you experience tooth decay is the same for everyone. Once plaque with bacteria coats the surface of your teeth and gets stuck on them, the bacteria feed on the sugar you consume, turning it into an acid that erodes the enamel on your teeth and causes cavities. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure you’re eating a balanced, nutritious diet that doesn’t encourage tooth decay. Fortunately, tooth decay is easily preventable by maintaining a healthy diet, visiting your dentist regularly, and keeping up with daily brushing and flossing.
At Twin Aspen Dental Center, our professional team provides comprehensive dental services for the entire family in Parker, CO, and the surrounding areas. Our highly trained, caring staff is committed to helping you find solutions to improve your dental health in a professional, caring manner. From family dentistry to cosmetic dentistry services, we’re fully equipped to address all your dental needs with the comfort you deserve. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common foods and beverages that are the biggest contributors to compromising enamel and causing tooth decay. Call us today!
What Foods Contribute to Tooth Decay?
Foods that are acidic and high in sugar are the main enemies of your teeth. Some of the foods you should try to consume moderately or stay away from to maintain your dental health and keep your smile healthy and bright include:
- Starchy Snack Foods – Chips and crackers stick to your teeth more than sugary foods like candy and chocolate. When these potato starches get stuck to your teeth, the bacteria will produce acid and affect the enamel.
- Acidic Foods and Beverages – Regularly consuming any foods or beverages that contain acid can be problematic for your teeth. These foods contribute to increased sensitivity and the breakdown of your tooth’s enamel. Common acidic food and drinks include lemons, limes, coffee, wine, cocktails, grapefruit juice, powdered fruit drinks, pickles, and sports drinks.
- Sports Beverages – While these beverages advertise that they’re full of electrolytes, they’re also full of sugar and are highly acidic. The thick liquid can stick to the surface of your teeth, causing the enamel to wear down. Water is the best drink for hydrating before, during, and after a workout.
- Soda – Due to the amount of sugar and acid in soda, it has a bad reputation for causing tooth decay and cavities. The acids in soda attack the calcium in your teeth and erode the tooth’s enamel. With weakened enamel, the sugar in the soda has a higher chance of penetrating the teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities.
- Pickles – In order for cucumbers to become pickles, they must be stored in vinegar during the pickling process. Because vinegar has a high acid content, pickles can cause staining to your teeth and weaken enamel. Most pickled foods also contain high levels of sugar, which causes cavities as well.
- Chewy Foods – Chewy foods such as caramels, taffy, dried fruit, and gummies usually have high sugar content. In addition to the high levels of sugar, chewy foods are typically in contact with your teeth longer because they take so long to chew, further increasing the risk of tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
What Foods Are Good for Your Teeth?
Eating foods that are chock full of vitamins and minerals, stimulate the gums, increase saliva, repair tooth enamel, and neutralize acids is a great way to help build strong gums and teeth. You should try to avoid foods that stick to the surface of your teeth or are high in sugar and acid. Instead, try healthy snacks like cheese, leafy greens, and non-acidic fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to healthy snacking, our experts recommend eating the following foods to improve your dental health:
- Carrots, celery, and apples
- Salads made with leafy greens
- Cheese, yogurt, and plain nuts
- Sugar-free gum
- Sugar-free boiled sweets
- Oatcakes with hummus or sugar-free peanut butter
Call Twin Aspen Dental Center Today for a Bright, Healthy Smile
Now that you’re aware of which foods are more likely to cause tooth decay and weakened enamel, you can focus on maintaining good dental health by consuming a healthy diet, practicing good oral hygiene, and visiting your dentist regularly. Twin Aspen Dental Center is Parker’s top choice for comprehensive dental care, from complete family dental care to cosmetic dentistry, emergency dental services, and much more.
With individualized care for patients of all ages, all your loved ones can receive high-quality treatment from the best dentist in the region. Contact us today to learn more about our family dental services or schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!