We all know that brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are important parts of keeping your smile healthy. What many people don’t realize is how important our diet is for healthy teeth. We’ve heard again and again that sugary foods can cause cavities, but they aren’t the only culprits!
For example, chewing ice can damage the enamel of your teeth. Sticky foods like dried fruit or even trail mix will (because they are after all, sticky) stay on your teeth longer than other foods, which can lead to tooth decay. Even the foods that are good for you, like tomatoes or citrus fruits contain acids that can damage teeth over time. Potato chips are full of starch; and sugary foods and drinks remain on the teeth as well. Bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off these sugars.
So, what do we do? Besides laying off the ice, you can brush between meals or at the least, twice a day. When you do enjoy a healthy snack, like tomatoes or oranges, you need to make them a part of meal, and not just a meal by themselves. You should limit snacks between meals, and, watch how much sugar is in your food and drinks. Try enjoying coffee or tea without the sugar, and if you do have a sticky snack, take a few minutes to brush your teeth. Finally, a well-balanced diet is an important part of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy.
If you have questions about how your diet may be affecting your teeth, call Dr. Alfred Haeberer at Haeberer Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Sterling, Virginia at 703-433-2155. We’ll be happy to set up and appointment for you to come in and talk with the doctor about how the food you eat can help or hurt your smile.