Eating well is an important aspect of feeling good and looking your best. Some foods that are marketed as “healthy,” though, may be affecting your teeth in ways you don’t realize. Keep reading to learn how these 4 foods and beverages may be impacting your oral health — and what to do about it now.
Granola is high in fiber, but certain nutty, crunchy varieties can also damage your tooth enamel. Sticky granola can also easily become lodged in the nooks and crannies in your teeth and cause tooth decay if it’s not removed with thorough brushing and flossing.
What to do: When you’re shopping around for granola or cereal, look for varieties that are heavy on the oatmeal and low on the added syrups and sticky sweeteners. Anything that says maple or honey is likely to be sticky. If you do end up with crunchy granola, just make sure you go slow and chew it carefully.
#2: Mineral Water
Here in the US, fizzy water has boomed in popularity over the past couple of years — and that could be bad news for many people’s tooth enamel. The carbonation in mineral water weakens the outer layer of the teeth, which can make them more sensitive to heat and cold. Weak enamel is more likely to chip or break, too.
The fix: Limit your mineral water consumption to just once a day. For your regular hydration, choose still.
#3: Sugar-Free Snacks
Reducing your sugar intake is a great choice for your oral and overall health, but substituting sugary snacks for ones that are filled with artificial sweeteners is a bad idea. Aspartame (the sweet-tasting ingredient in Splenda, Sweet n’ Low, and other sweeteners) throws the pH balance of your saliva out of whack, reducing your mouth’s natural ability to protect itself from cavities and gum disease.
What to do: Choose snacks that are naturally sweet, like whole fruit or plain yogurt with a tablespoon of honey or peanut butter.
#4: Fruit and Nut Bars
It’s easy to grab a dried fruit and nut bar for quick fuel during the day, but many of these bars are also sticky — and small particles can easily get stuck in between teeth, accelerating the rate of tooth decay.
The fix: Can’t give them up entirely? Just make sure you brush and floss thoroughly after this tasty afternoon snack.
Cleanings Are Crucial
We’re not asking you to give up all your favorite healthy foods — we just want you to be fully aware of the impact what you eat has on your smile! Brushing and flossing are crucial for protecting your teeth and gums, but they really only do so much. To enjoy superior oral health, make sure you are visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. We’ll remove all the left behind plaque and tartar to keep you smiling clean and healthy for life!
About the Authors
The team at Elmbrook Family Dental, S.C. is known for providing high quality, comprehensive dental care in a state-of-the-art environment. To learn more about their general, restorative, and cosmetic treatments or to schedule an appointment for the same, you are invited to contact the office at 262-784-7201.