Meta: Here are some of the worst foods for your teeth, as listed by the New York Times.
One of the most common questions people have when they have cavities is “what am I doing wrong?” Especially when they take good care of their teeth between meals. But while some of us have the best intentions with our oral hygiene sometimes it’s what we are eating between brushings that is doing the damage to our oral health. That’s why the New York Times recently took a closer look at the worst foods and drinks for our teeth. Here’s what they found.
Soda was not surprisingly a major culprit in the cavity game. That’s because not only is it packed with table sugar, it’s also acidic, which can wear away at tooth enamel. Experts cited suggested avoiding soda altogether, but if you must indulge, do it all at once (don’t drink your soda over a long period of time) and then rinse your mouth out with water if you don’t brush your teeth afterwards. Another great rule of thumb when it comes to acidic food and beverages is to wait 30 minutes after consuming to brush your teeth, because the enamel gets a little soft when consuming acids, so allowing those extra 30 minutes gives the enamel time to re-harden.
Gummy foods like gummy bears, fruit snacks, taffy, or caramels stick to your teeth and can pull on dental work. They can also get stuck in between teeth and in the cracks and crevices of the teeth, creating a feast for harmful bacteria. This can cause cavities and gum disease, so if you do have something gummy be sure to brush right afterwards.
Carbs get a bad rap, and rightfully so, despite being delicious. Unfortunately when it comes to your teeth they serve no benefit so be sure to brush after consuming them.
Unfortunately, alcohol is not good for the teeth, due to its high acidity. Thankfully, you can still enjoy that glass of beer or wine with dinner if you’re sure to brush after enjoying your adult beverage. Just follow our rule of thumb and wait at least 30 minutes for the enamel to have a chance to re-harden before brushing so your toothbrush does not cause any damage to the teeth.
Ultimately, there isn’t really any food you can’t eat if you take great care of your teeth. Just be sure to brush at least twice a day, for two minutes minimum, and floss at least once per day. Follow that up with twice annual oral health exams with Dr. Abelar, and you’ll be golden!