May 6, 2021
When it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you may already brush twice a day, floss daily, and come in to see Dr. Kerri M. Hill at The Art of Dental Wellness for your regular cleanings and checkups. But what you also eat matters. Certain types of foods increase the bad bacteria in your mouth, affecting the health of your teeth and gums, which may lead to the formation of cavities and the buildup of plaque.
When it comes to foods you should limit for healthier teeth and gums, sugary foods may not come as too much of a surprise. But you may not know why sugar is bad.
Your mouth is filled with bacteria — some good, some bad. The bad bacteria love to feed on sugar. Unfortunately, the acidic byproduct created by the bad bacteria eats away at the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities. The bacteria also increase plaque production, which may form into tartar and increase your risk of gum disease.
For good oral health, we recommend you limit sugary foods, such as:
It's especially important to be careful when consuming sugary foods that linger, like lollipops or hard candy. The longer these sweets stay in your mouth, the greater the risk to your teeth and gums.
What we mean by sticky foods are the ones that get stuck on your teeth after you finish chewing and require manual removal, either with your finger or a toothbrush. Like lollipops and hard candy, sticky foods linger and increase bacterial action and acid production.
Sticky foods that may wreak havoc on your teeth and gums include:
Like sugary foods, caramels and dried fruit are a source of sugar, but you may wonder why bread, chips, and pretzels are so bad.
They're refined carbs, and the enzymes in your mouth get a head start on digestion by starting to break these carbs down into sugar. That makes them just as detrimental to your teeth as sugary foods. On top of that, these carb-laden foods tend to hang around in the crevices of your molars until the next time you brush.
If you like soda, you may opt to switch over to the sugar-free versions to improve oral health. But as it turns out, these may not be any better for you. It's not the sugar in these drinks that wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, but the acidic ingredients, such as phosphoric and citric acid, which eat away at your enamel much like the acidic byproduct of the bad bacteria.
After a hard day at work, you may like to unwind with a nice cocktail. But alcohol and oral health don't go hand in hand. Your drink may not taste sweet, but it may be a source of sugar, which can up the production of bad bacteria. Some alcoholic beverages are also acidic, which may affect the enamel on your teeth and increase the risk of cavities.
And that cottonmouth you get after a night of indulgence is due to a decrease in saliva production. That dry mouth isn't good because saliva is your mouth's natural way of sweeping the bacteria off your teeth.
Does that mean soda, sweets, and chips are out? Not necessarily. It's all about balance and taking good care of your teeth between meals and snacks.
To improve oral health and reduce your exposure, we recommend:
If you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums, we can help. Dr. Hill has nearly 20 years of experience helping her patients improve their oral health for healthier, brighter smiles. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.
Kerri Hill, DDS, offers a uniquely all-encompassing, patient-focused dental treatment experience in Beverly Hills. The expert behind some of Hollywood’s best smiles, Dr. Hill’s propensity for empathy and meticulous care allow her to make patients’ dreams a reality. Begin building your best smile with a comprehensive consultation at The Art of Dental Wellness.
416 N Bedford Dr Suite 409, Beverly Hills, CA 90210