10 Foods That Can Harm Your Smile

Your diet plays a big part in your oral health. Particularly if you don’t keep up with regular dental visits, certain foods can lead to big dental problems. Dr. Ed Lazer of Cosmetic and Advanced Dentistry, a dentist in Baltimore, MD, lets you know which foods you should limit or avoid.

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1. Chewy Candy

Things like caramels or gummy candies are some of the worst things to consume for your smile. When you chew them up, they get stuck in between teeth and in the crevices in your molars. It’s often in places that are hard to reach with normal brushing and flossing. Harmful oral bacteria feed on these sugary bits and emit an acidic byproduct that wears away tooth enamel and can lead to dental cavities.

2. Hard Candy

Just because it’s not chewy doesn’t mean it’s a good sweet tooth substitute. Hard candy has problems of its own. While it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, it releases sugar into your mouth the entire time it’s dissolving. If you bite down at the wrong angle, it can also cause a dental emergency. There’s a risk of severely breaking, chipping, or cracking your tooth.

3. Dried Fruit

Fruit is typically a good substitute for candy when you want something sweet. However, you should stick to the fresh kind. Dried fruit often has the same sticky consistency as chewy candy. It’s also more concentrated with sugar and loses some of its nutrients during the drying process.

4. Crackers and Chips

Salty snacks may not show a large sugar content on their labels. But they’re made of starches, which turn into sugars as they’re broken down and digested. Chips are notorious for getting small bits stuck in between teeth and crackers turn into a paste as they’re chewed, collecting in the crevices of your molars.

5. Ice

While water in its liquid form is one of the best things for your oral health, it can be harmful in its frozen form. A continuous habit of chewing on ice causes advanced wear and tear on your teeth. Like hard candy, it can also lead to a break or crack if you bite down at the wrong angle, leading to restorative dentistry being needed.

6. Coffee and Tea

While these beverages on their own aren’t the worst, coffee and tea are usually loaded with sugar and syrups now. Since they’re darker beverages, routine drinking of them can also lead to stained teeth over time. You made need teeth whitening services to get your smile back to the color you want.

7. Sports Drinks

Many people drink sports drinks during workouts or because they think they’re healthier than something like a soda. But if you compare labels you’ll often find that sports drinks have as much, if not more, sugars compared to soda or energy drinks. Many are flavored with citric acid, too, which wears away tooth enamel. The combination of these two things is especially bad for your teeth.

8. Citrus Fruit

While fresh citrus fruit still contains vital vitamins and nutrients, it’s something that should be had in moderation. Even something like a lemon in your water can have an impact. Citric acid eats away at your teeth. You aren’t able to brush your teeth right after citrus, either, as it can increase the bad impact. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait an hour or so to brush.

9. Popcorn

Especially if you have braces or an orthodontic device, popcorn wreaks havoc on your teeth. Biting down on a hard kernel can break or chip a tooth or orthodontic equipment. Bits and pieces of the hull get caught in between your teeth and are hard to get out.

10. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

This is a meal staple, especially for younger kids. But it’s basically all sugar. White bread is full of starches. Both peanut butter and jelly are loaded with sugar and have a sticky texture, so they stay around for a while.

Regular Care at Your Baltimore, Maryland Dentist

Make sure you’re seeing your dentist regularly to ensure your diet isn’t ruining your smile. Call us or schedule an appointment online.