Sometimes it really seems like every food in the world is working against your teeth, and you either have to live entirely off water or prep yourself for dentures at the age of 30. The truth is, some foods that damage your teeth are still good for the rest of your body and either can’t or shouldn’t be avoided. However, if you want to make sure that you don’t need serious dental surgery in the very near future, it’s best to be aware of potentially harmful foods and to find a dentist who can help you keep your teeth clean.
1. Any Sugary Drinks. This means anything with soda pop in it, including those mixed drinks at the bar which are cleverly masked by cheap vodka. Even diet sodas are bad for teeth because of the acidity that replaces sugar in low-calorie diet drinks. Sports drinks tend to secretly pack in the sugar too. Fruit juices are also included in this category– even all-natural and organic juices– because they contain sugars. The best thing to do when consuming these drinks is to either use a straw or brush your teeth immediately after.
2. Hard candies. Although something called a “Jawbreaker” seems like a cool thing when you’re eight, it develops less attractive reputation as you grow older. The enamel on your teeth often softens or comes off entirely as you get older, which means that it’s easier to ruin your teeth when you least expect it. And and type of hard candies offer a two-for-one deal when it comes to ruining your teeth, since you’re essentially just sucking on a lump of sugar for an extended period of time.
3. Sticky foods. Peanut butter, honey, jelly… whether or not they have sugar as a primary ingredient, any sticky food will cling onto your teeth and gums for dear life until you brush your teeth. If you’re feeling skeptical about this, try giving a dog some peanut butter and feel bad/laugh as it licks the top of its mouth for the next 10 minutes. And realize that you’re putting your mouth through the same ordeal any time you eat PBandJs.
4. Citrus-y things. So some of us LIKE to suck on the free lemons that come with water at restaurants and we’re going to insist that it is NOT weird. But we do need to recognize that lemons are a particularly cunning culprit of acidity, as are other foods that have hidden citrus ingredients. High levels of citric acid can damage tooth enamel almost instantly. So if you are a fan of lemons, maybe just limit your lemon intake (but feel no shame when you do indulge).
If you find yourself already a victim of these teeth-hating foods, you may want to consider cosmetic dental work to repair the damage that has already been exacted. It is better to find a dentist now who can tell you about procedures like dental implants or porcelain veneers because you really don’t want to be that old guy walking around without teeth. Definitely don’t be embarrassed to do some research before you find a dentist, because a well-informed patient is never a bad thing. Continue your research here.
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