There are many foods and drinks that are notoriously not good for our teeth, causing tooth decay and cavities because of their high sugar content. However, amongst these are some less well-known demons including the following…
- Sports/energy drinks – The reality is that sports/energy drinks/electrolyte drinks are not a good substitute to a conventional fizzy drinks. Studies have shown that there is a high % of sportspeople with dental erosion, which is said to be down to the high sugar content of sports drinks such as Lucozade and Powerade.
- Wine – Wine has a very low pH level of 3 as well as containing high levels of acid. The tannins in red wine is a particular foe to teeth, as this is what causes the red staining after your sip your glass – it also dries your mouth out which prevents saliva from rinsing your teeth. If you’re drinking red wine, try to take regular sips of water to clean some of the tannins off your teeth’s enamel coating.
- Hard candy/sticky candy – both these types of candy are a hard day’s work for your teeth, the former putting your teeth at risk of cracking and breaking, the latter getting stuck and causing the build up of bacteria leading to fillings.
- Dried Fruits – These carry a similar threat to that of candy as they get stuck in-between your teeth like toffee of caramel….. They’re also very high in sugar so they should be enjoyed in moderation.
- Pickles – The clue is in the name with this one – anything ‘pickled’ is full of acid and therefore bad for your teeth, eroding away the enamel coating.
- Sugarfree gum – sugarless gum promotes the production of saliva which washes off the acids on your teeth. Some varieties of sugarfree gum are sweetened with a type of alcohol (Xylitol) which helps reduce bacteria in the mouth.
- Cheese – Cheese is a well known teeth-friendly food due to the high levels of calcium it contains (hydroxyapatite). This helps repair and protect tooth enamel. Remember that cheese is high in fat and should be enjoyed in moderation!
- Strawberries – Strawberries contain an enamel-friendly element called malic acid. When you eat strawberries, try to refrain from adding extra sugar, as this will defeat the natural qualities of this otherwise pro-teeth fruit!
- Celery – This unlikely vegetable is good for your teeth – why? Because it acts like a toothbrush by scrubbing the bacteria and food particles from your teeth.
- Pumpkins – Conventionally, this wacky vegetable only makes one appearance per year on the 31st However, pumpkins deserve much more exposure, as their sources of Vitamin A, potassium and fiber are a God-send for your teeth!