When it comes to protecting gum health and taking care of your teeth, it’s true – you are what you eat. Many beverages and foods can cause plaque, a bacteria-filled film that does severe damage to your teeth and contributes to developing gum disease. Beverages like soda, energy drinks, and coffee can dehydrate you and affect your gum health. Sugary drinks and snacks can also attack the enamel of your teeth. And when enamel breaks down, cavities can develop.
It goes without saying that avoiding beverages and food for gum health – like the snacks listed below – can also benefit your teeth. But if you need more help protecting your gum health and addressing teeth issues, call Zeal Dentistry at 415.792.4771 or contact our team online to find out about our services.
5 Foods to Avoid When Protecting Gum Health
1. Sour Candies
Most types of candies will have a negative effect on your mouth. But sour candy, in particular, contains more acids that are tougher on your teeth. Because they’re often chewy, sour candy sticks to your teeth and causes decay for a longer time.
While it might seem counterintuitive, a chocolate square can be better for your gum health. It’s sweeter, but it’s also quick to chew and wash away with a glass of water.
2. White Bread
You can find sugar even in food items that aren’t sweet. When you chew white bread, for example, your saliva helps break down the starches into sugar. As you’re chewing, the bread transforms into a paste-like substance full of sugar, which can then reach and stick to the crevices between your teeth. That sugar will soon turn into plaque and then harden into gum disease-causing tartar.
Choose varieties of bread that are less refined and contain less sugar, like whole wheat. You can also make sure that you brush your teeth or at least floss after carbo-loading.
3. Citrus fruits
Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. This is good for the body, but its acidity can also erode the enamel of your teeth – making them more vulnerable to decay. Citrus fruits and their juices can also be bothersome to consume if you’re currently suffering from mouth sores.
Vitamin C does have multiple health benefits, so it would be a shame to remove citrus fruits from your diet. Make sure you rinse the acidity from your mouth with a glass of water after eating one of these fruits or having some juice.
4. Potato Chips
Like white bread, potato chips are not good food for gum health. They’re loaded with starch and turn into a sugar-filled paste as we’re chewing them. This can cause plaque, which then turns into tartar. But unlike most bread, potato chips also have added flavoring that can be acidic – which can also be bad for mouth health.
5. Dried Fruits
You might assume that dried fruits – like citrus fruits – are a healthy snack. While that may be true in terms of their nutritional makeup, many dried fruits can be sticky like sour candies.
Raisins and dried apricots, figs, and prunes are typical snacks. But when you eat them, little bits get stuck in between your teeth and leave behind a lot of sugar. Brush your teeth or floss after eating, or consider eating fresh fruits instead. After all, the latter contains less sugar and is less likely to get caught in your teeth.
At Zeal, we offer the following dentistry services: