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According to the American Dental Association, what and how often you eat and drink can affect your dental health.
Certain eating patterns and food choices can negatively affect your teeth and lead to tooth erosion and cavities. This includes soda pop, sports drinks, and energy drinks! It even includes snacks like dried fruit or pretzels which can be a problem if they stay stuck in the grooves of your teeth. Sugar and acid lead to the breakdown of tooth enamel and increase the need for dental fillings or cosmetic dentistry services. It is important to know how to maintain proper dental health on your own by being mindful of what you snack and sip.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Sugar?
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque remains on the teeth, the bacteria in the plaque use the sugar leftover from food or drinks to produce acid. Then the acid acts on tooth enamel, weakening and even erasing this protective layer. This is when cavities begin to form. The more acid forms during the day, the more likely your teeth will be permanently damaged. Enjoying highly-acidic foods often makes teeth sensitive to sugar.
Ask yourself these questions and save your teeth:
- Are you sipping soda or sweetened coffee/tea all day?
- Do you eat candy daily?
- Do you skip meals and instead drink smoothies or grab carbs to get through the day?
- Are sports drinks or energy drinks something you drink often?
If you answered yes to many of these you are damaging your teeth!
As you probably guessed, water is the most neutral drink for your mouth with milk coming next with a similar pH. Coffee, teas, flavored waters and sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sodas, then fruit juices become more and more acidic down the list. Also the sweeter the drink, the higher the sugar content.
What Are Drinks And Foods That Are Good For Your Teeth?
A healthy diet can also keep your mouth healthy. Eating a well-balanced diet reduces the risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, but it is also good at preventing decay. For teeth to be healthy, they need vitamins, protein, calcium and phosphorus and you can get all of this from eating healthy. Do avoid processed sugars and eat natural sugar found in fruits in moderation.
Some Tips to Lower Your Risk of Erosion and Cavities include:
- Limit snacks between meals
- Avoid sugary drinks when possible
- If you have sugar, eat with meals where saliva is increased and helps reduce acid
- Chew sugarless gum that will stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth
- Drink plenty of water
- See your dentist and hygienist for regular checkups
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