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What foods and drinks can damage your teeth. It’s no secret that what you eat and drink affects your dental health. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we offer healthy eating tips to our patients to help them protect their teeth and gums. During a dental exam with our San Diego dentist, we can discuss what foods damage the teeth and offer tooth-healthy food suggestions. When you consume food or beverages that contain a lot of sugar or acid, this sugar reacts with the bacteria in your plaque to produce acid. This will cause erosion, which leads to damaged tooth enamel and tooth sensitivity. Ultimately, a balanced diet helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss for our patients.

What foods are good for your teeth?

Tooth decay damages the teeth and will require a filling. In severe cases, an extraction may be necessary. This decay occurs when sugar reacts with the bacteria found in plaque, which forms an acid that attacks the teeth and destroys your tooth enamel. When this occurs, your enamel breaks down, and a cavity forms. This decay process happens quickly, which makes it important to have regular dental exams and dental cleanings to detect problems early on. Processed food and foods high in sugar are most prone to damage your enamel.

Foods that damage teeth

Foods that are sticky and full of sugar are the most damaging to your teeth. This is because when they are sticky, they are harder to remove, which allows bacteria to remain on the tooth and for tooth decay to begin. Some foods that damage teeth in San Diego, CA include:

  • Popcorn: This gets stuck between the teeth easily and promotes bacteria growth, leading to tooth decay. It can also cause sensitive gums.

  • Hard candy: Because of its texture, hard candy can cause teeth to crack. These candies are full of sugar and linger in the mouth for a while, which leads to damage.

  • Citrus: Anything that is high in acid can cause tooth decay. If you do eat citrus, rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove as much acid as possible.

  • Coffee or tea: Not only can it lead to stains on your teeth, but when you add sugar to these beverages, they can make the teeth feel sticky.

  • Soda: Sugary beverages, such as soda, are bad for the teeth as they contain a lot of sugar (which causes tooth decay), and they are acidic (which causes tooth erosion).

What is erosion?

Acidic food and beverages lead to erosion, the gradual dissolving of tooth enamel. A product that is high acid has a lower pH. Orange or grapefruit juice, milk, red wine, and soda are all erosive beverages. During a dental exam, our San Diego dentist can determine if you consume too much acid.

What foods are good for your teeth?

Our professional dental team recommends an anti-inflammatory diet, which has been proven to promote more healthy teeth and gums. Foods that are high in fat or refined sugars lead to inflammation. Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, or fatty fish, all are good foods for teeth and gums.

A healthy snack is an alkaline food that is low in acid. Some healthy snacks include:

  • Raw vegetables

  • Low-fat cheese

  • Nuts (portion control)

  • Crackers

  • Yogurt (low or no-sugar varieties)

Learn how your oral health and your teeth are related

During regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings at Dental Express, our professional dental team can discuss your diet with you to determine if it’s causing oral health problems. We offer you helpful tips on food and dental health that can improve your oral health in San Diego, CA. To schedule a dental examination or routine dental cleaning, call our professional team today.