You are what you eat not only applies to size of your waistline but also the condition of your teeth. Foods that may seem harmless can actually do untold damage to your teeth. Learn what dangers may be lurking behind that sugary snack as well as some healthy alternatives.
Stream of Sugar
While lower in both fat and calories when compared to many other sweets, hard candy may seem to pose no real threat. However, the continual stream of sugar that combines with your saliva as you suck the candy into oblivion is terrible for your teeth. To satisfy that sweet tooth, chew gum that is sweetened with xylitol or stevia.
Chill, Don’t Chew
Better for chilling than for chewing, ice has no calories and offers the benefit of hydration. However, chomping ice cubes can damage your enamel or even chip a tooth. It’s best to imbibe the liquid form.
Most citrus fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals. In addition, they have an alkalizing effect on the body. Like most things, enjoy them in moderation. Too much citrus can wear away your enamel and irritate sores in your mouth.
Beware the Brew
In their natural forms, coffee and tea are wonderful sources of antioxidants and can even be a metabolism booster. These benefits are negated by the massive amounts of sugar and highly processed creamer that most people add. In addition, over consumption can stain your teeth. When you drink either beverage, enjoy it with no additives.
Stick to It
Though foods such as dried fruit might seem to top the list for healthy snacking, they actually stick to your teeth longer, leaving your mouth vulnerable to a bacterial onslaught. Whenever you eat sticky snacks, be sure to brush and floss soon after.
Crunchy foods, such as potato chips, often contain starch that gets lodged between your teeth. They are also fried with hydrogenated oils that are toxic to your heart. If you must indulge, be sure to floss well afterwards, and look for those made with heart-healthy oils.
Kick the Can
Sodas are not only laden with chemicals and sugar, but the phosphoric acid also pulls calcium from your bones, including your teeth. Try to wean yourself from these beverages, replacing them with fruit or herb infused water.
Alcohol actually has a dehydrating effect, which, over time, may reduce your saliva flow. This can lead to tooth decay and periodontal diseases. Excessive alcohol consumption may increase your risk of oral cancer as well.