You probably already know that foods high in sugar, acids, artificial colors, and starch can easily damage the teeth. These foods are particular favorites of bacteria already present in the mouth – and the waste produced when these bacteria attack those foods can rapidly erode enamel, increasing risks for dental caries, tooth infection, and bacterial infection below the gum line.
Five of the worst foods you can eat are:
- Sticky or sour candy
- Simple carbohydrates (white bread)
- Sodas and sports drinks
- Chips and crackers
- Dried fruit
All of these foods, including dried fruit, are typically heavily processed, loaded with added sugars and preservatives, and unbelievably bad for the health and beauty of your smile. The easiest way to prevent the myriad problems these foods pose for oral health is to avoid them entirely, though proper dental care following their consumption can mitigate some of the damage.
When and How to Brush Your Teeth
If you are going to eat foods that are damaging to the smile, you will need to up your at-home brushing and flossing game. However, it is a bad idea to brush your teeth immediately after consuming foods high in starch, sugar, or acid due to the softening effect these foods have on tooth enamel.
To prevent tooth damage while still removing these harmful substances from the teeth, it is best to:
· Drink plenty of water while consuming junk foods and at least 8oz as soon as you finish
· Wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush for at least two minutes if you are using a manual brush and for at least one minute if your toothbrush is electric
· Floss after eating anything sticky or starchy
These steps will need to be in addition to brushing after every meal to help protect the teeth and gums from disease and decay.
During your routine visits to our Indianapolis office, we can discuss steps you can take to address issues specific to your oral health.
March is National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month, making it a great time to consider your eating habits and to make adjustments that encourage better oral and physical health. Almost none of the foods that are bad for your teeth are good for your body. When you make smart food decisions, you are automatically making the best decision for your smile. We would be happy to address this in greater detail during your next visit to our office.
This March, take time to assess your eating habits and the effect they may be having on the strength and appearance of your teeth. If you are already dealing with enamel erosion, we would be happy to discuss same day dental crowns and other restorations that can be used to restore an attractive appearance and durability to your smile.
If you live in or around Indianapolis and are would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. John Phelps, please call 317-818-9858 today. Trusted, experienced, and dedicated, Dr. Phelps welcomes patients of all ages from Carmel, Noblesville, and all surrounding areas of Indiana.