The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Most of us know what we are supposed to eat for good health, which may likewise have a positive impact on our teeth. But not everyone is as familiar with the types of foods that can really damage your teeth. Here are four main types of food that you should limit or avoid to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Soda


Drinking “pop” or soda, as many people call it, can be as damaging to your teeth as battery acid. While soda may not hurt your mouth or stomach in the same way acid would, it takes a toll on your teeth by eroding the enamel and causing cavities. Left unfilled, cavities can destroy your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out, requiring replacement treatment such as dental implants, which can be costly and time-consuming. Health experts recommend water as the best beverage for good health, with milk, tea, and limited fruit juice as other options.

Sweets


Sugar can also play havoc with your dental health. Sugary substances love clinging to your teeth and around your gum line. Similar to acidic beverages and foods, products that include sugar eat away at your tooth structure, causing cavities and requiring dental treatment and repair. Dentists frequently suggest that kids and adults eat less sugar-infused sweets and opt instead for fresh fruits or wholesome snacks that won’t harm your teeth.

Brittle and Crunchy Foods


If you love popcorn, be careful how you eat it. Most of the time you can chow down without problems, but occasionally you might bite hard on a corn kernel that has not popped and injure your tooth. Any type of food that is unexpectedly rigid, like stale dinner rolls, nuts, jaw breaker candy, or hard pretzels, can give your teeth a jolt and possibly cause chipping or a crack. Chew tentatively until you know what type of texture you are dealing with.

Sticky Snacks


Caramel, taffy, and gum are favorite snack foods for many. But sticky items like these can loosen or pull out tooth fillings, especially older ones. They can also damage a tooth with one good yank or clench of your jaw. Take it easy when chewing sticky substances that may cling to your teeth and cause problems.

Casual eating is especially risky when we don’t pay attention to what we put into our mouths. Think twice when deciding what to chew on between meals or while dining to keep your teeth in good working order without added stress.




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