While taking action to maintain your oral health by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are all important parts of maintaining good oral health. But your diet plays more of a part in it than you may realize. Dr. Brad Gorsky, a respected general dentist in Manhattan, NY, highlights five foods you should try to steer clear of to help your oral health.
1. Hard Candy
You probably already know how bad sticky candy like caramel is for your teeth but hard candy isn’t a great alternative. While it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth, hard candy releases sugars into your mouth the entire time it’s dissolving. Harmful oral bacteria feed off of this sugar and emit an acidic byproduct that causes problems with tooth decay and dental cavities.
But that isn’t the only danger hard candy presents. It can also lead to a need for emergency dentistry. If you bite down at the wrong angle or before the candy has become soft enough, you risk cracking or chipping a tooth. While a cosmetic chip isn’t something to worry about, a severe break or crack needs to be fixed right away to avoid infection.
2. Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is a great, healthy way to ease your sweet tooth. However, the dried variety isn’t as healthy for you. Dried fruit is more concentrated with sugar and loses some of its nutrients in the drying process. Dried fruit also often has a consistency that’s similar to that of chewy candy. Combine the texture with the added sugar, and dried fruit isn’t much better than chewy candy for your teeth.
3. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are often seen as a healthier alternative to soda and energy drinks but a quick scan of the label will reveal that they contain as much (or even more) sugar as these other beverages. Citric acid is also commonly used to flavor sports drinks which causes your tooth enamel to erode faster, making it easier for bacteria to cause problems.
4. Chips and Crackers
Salty snacks don’t appear to have a lot of sugar based just on the nutrition label but they’re starches which still break down into sugars as they’re being chewed and digested. Chip pieces tend to get stuck between teeth, while crackers form a kind of paste that gets stuck in the crevices of molars. If you’re going to snack on these, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Water is one of the best things for your oral health…but only when it’s in liquid form. Chewing ice is a common habit that can actually indicate a serious somatic health issue. And if you’re chewing it regularly, it also increases how quickly your teeth wear down. It also carries the same problems as hard candy. If you bite down at the wrong angle or before it’s dissolved enough, a dental emergency may be in your future.
Oral Hygiene with Dr. Gorsky
If you live in the Manhattan, NY area and need a skilled and compassionate dentist, trust Dr. Gorsky to help you keep your smile happy and healthy. His practice is conveniently located just a short walk from the 4, 5, 6, E, M, N, Q and R subway lines. For a consultation with Dr. Gorsky about any other dental concern, please call 212.235.1769 or request an appointment online today!