Anytime a dental emergency happens it can be scary and not knowing what to do can make the moment worse. When smaller emergencies like a chipped tooth happen it is important to know what to do to better the chances of a good outcome, there are few steps to take once a chip has occurred.
Chipping a tooth does not have to mean you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, chipping a tooth can happen at anytime. Not treating a chipped tooth however; can lead to further issues and problems.
“You are what you eat.” As it turns out, that adage may be especially true when it comes to your teeth. The front lines of defense when it comes to acids, colors, dyes, and bacteria in our food, our teeth work especially hard during mealtime. Because of this, it makes sense that certain foods would be good for your teeth, while others would put them at risk of decay, discoloration, and damage.
Here’s what you need to know about the top foods that are bad for your teeth, and a few you can sub out instead.
10 Foods That Are Terrible for Your Teeth
Did you know that cavities are thesingle most common chronic disease in people ages 6-19 years old? Don’t worry, though. You can prevent or decrease cavities by taking good care of your teeth, brushing often, and limiting or avoiding these ten foods and drinks:
Most people know that pop isn’t great for our teeth. What lots of us don’t know, however, is exactly how damaging it can be. According toone recent study, drinking large quantities of soda may be as detrimental to human teeth as using crack cocaine or methamphetamine.
Let that sink in for a moment.
So, why are sodas so damaging? The answer is acid. Carbonated sodas create a chemical reaction in your mouth, which allows the plaque on your teeth to create more acid. The acid then goes to work on your dental enamel, leading to rapid decay and discoloration. Finally, sodas can stain teeth and cause dry mouth – both of which wreak dental health havoc.
2. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a healthy snack, right? Right! Unfortunately, it does a number on your teeth. Dried fruits like apricots and raisins, for example, have a sticky residue which can coat your teeth and get stuck in the gaps between the tooth and the gum.
Over time, the sugars in the coating interact with the plaque in your mouth, creating an ideal environment for decay. If you’re going to snack on dried fruit, be sure to brush and floss your teeth afterward.
3. Potato Chips
Potato chips are delicious, but they’re a prime source of starch. When you crunch on this salty snack, the starch transforms to sugar in your mouth. When that sugar becomes trapped between your teeth, it feeds bacteria and plaque and promotes acid production and decay. If you can’t avoid potato chips altogether, brush and floss as soon as you’ve finished your snack
4. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, lemons, limes, oh my! Citrus fruits pack a welcome punch, but their acid content is tough on teeth, eating away at enamel and weakening a tooth’s natural defenses. If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of citrus without harming your chompers, keep your citrus intake moderate and swish your mouth with water after you’re done eating.
Candy is a bit like soda when it comes to our teeth. Most people know it’s not health food. As it turns out, though, some candies are worse than others when it comes to our teeth.
Sour and hard candidates, for example, stick to teeth and dissolve slowly in the mouth, respectively. This jacks up acid content and creates a residue that’s tough to brush away. Swap these sweet treats for a square of dark chocolate, instead. Chocolate won’t coat teeth and is easier to brush away.
Even nice, healthy, homemade wheat bread contains starch, and when you eat starch, your mouth breaks it down into sugar. This sugar becomes a sticky, gummy paste that lodges into the crevices of teeth and promotee decay.
While you can cut down on this effect by opting for more wholesome, whole-wheat varieties, it’s smart to brush your teeth after enjoying that lunchtime sandwich.
Alcohol does something interesting to the mouth: it cuts saliva production and creates dry mouth. Unfortunately, saliva keeps teeth healthy, and dry mouths are more susceptible to damage, decay, and dental staining. Additionally, saliva helps reduce the likelihood of oral infections and keep teeth healthy. With this in mind, keep alcohol intake to a minimum and drink plenty of water.
Ice seems harmless, but it can break and fracture teeth if you decide to chew it. Even if ice doesn’t break teeth, it can crack enamel and loosen crowns, leading to expensive dental bills and more. Because of this, it’s critical to avoid chewing ice and other hard objects.
9. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is billed as a healthy snack, but it contains lots of natural sugars. In fact, some fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as drinks like Coke or Pepsi. With this in mind, keep your fruit juice consumption minimal, and rinse your mouth with water afterward.
10. Fried Food
Fried food is dense in calories, but it also contains chemical compounds like acrylamide, oxysterols, acrolein, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and more. These compounds boost your risk of cancer and heart disease, while also lodging in your teeth and creating a perfect environment for decay. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to limit your consumption of fried food, and always to brush your teeth after you enjoy a cheat meal.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
Your mouth works hard when it comes to mealtime. In addition to breaking down food, making it easier to process nutrients, and creating an enjoyable experience, your mouth also takes the brunt of the acids, bacteria, and textures contained in our foods.
This year, do your mouth a solid by being mindful of what you’re putting on your plate. Swapping out food that is tough on your teeth for foods that are easier to chew and eat will go a long way toward protecting your dental health and reducing emergency dental visits.
Are you overdue for your yearly cleaning or exam? Contact our offices today to book your first appointment with our team of friendly, knowledgeable dentists.
Not only can food affect your overall health it can affect your teeth and oral health as well. Maintaining a proper diet can occasionally be difficult and confusing about what is good for you and what is not. We are here to help you find the best food choices to help your teeth and oral health.
Eating the right foods can be very helpful with your oral health, even when eating the right foods it is still important to visit your dentist regularly. We are here to help you be healthy and stay healthy!
Soda: it’s fizzy, sweet, and delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not great for our teeth. While most people know this, to some extent, many would be surprised to learn precisely how damaging soda can be for our oral health. And considering that about 50% of the U.S. population has at least one pop each day, this is becoming a significant problem for dental health in America.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Soda Impacts Health
While it may be delicious, it’s certainly not good for us. Here are a few massive ways soda can impact our health and wellbeing:
Soda is linked to weight gain. Soda pop includes added sugar, typically in the form of sucrose or table sugar. These sweeteners supply simple sugars known as fructose in massive amounts. Unfortunately, fructose doesn’t do anything to lower or hunger hormones or stimulate feelings of fullness in the same ways as actually nutritionally-dense foods. When you consume liquid sugar, as seen in soda and other sugary drinks, you add more calorie intake and no more nutritional value to your daily diet. Because of this, people who drink soda on top of their daily caloric intake consumed17% more calories than people who drink water, instead. This additional caloric intake leads to weight gain and increasing obesity levels. Additionally, since sugar increases belly fat accumulation, people who consume sugary drinks have higher levels of skin fat than people who do not.
Sugar becomes fat in the liver. Sugar is composed of two unique molecules – glucose and fructose. While your body can metabolize glucose, fructose can only be metabolized by your liver. Since sugary drinks like soda are high in fructose, drinking them in excess overloads the liver and starts turning fructose into fat. This fat then makes its way into your bloodstream as triglycerides, while the rest of it remains in the liver. Left alone for too long, this condition contributes to fatty liver disease.
Drinking soda can cause insulin resistance. Insulin drives glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. When this process is healthy, it’s critical for sustaining life. When people drink excessive levels of sugary soda, though, your cells become less sensitive to the impact of insulin. In these cases, the pancreas has to kick into overdrive, making more insulin to remove glucose from your bloodstream. This, then, causes insulin levels in your blood to spike. This, then, creates insulin resistance, which is one of the main factors lurking behind type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and similar disorders.
What Soda Does to Our Teeth
By now, you know that soda can increase your waistline, cause insulin resistance, and become an underlying factor for conditions like diabetes. What about how soda affects your smile, though? Here are a few impacts you might not be aware of:
1. Soda Increases the Acid Content in Your Mouth
When you take a swig of soda, the acids within it interact with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid. The acid, a bad actor in its own rite, goes to work on your teeth, attacking the enamel that surrounds and protects teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay, and causing your gums to pull back from your teeth, exposing tender roots and hastening the process of decay.
Think this process takes a long time to enact or only happens if you drink seven sodas a day? Think again. Each sip of every soda you take kicks off a chain reaction that lasts for about 20 minutes. That means that if you sip soda all day, your mouth is under a veritable attack.
2. Soda Causes Erosion
That sugary, bacteria reaction creates a dangerous process known as erosion. Erosion starts when the acid produced by soft drinks and the bacteria in your mouth comes into contact with the enamel surrounding your teeth.
Over time (it happens very quickly, though), the reaction drills away at the hard surface of your enamel, causing holes that allow bacteria into the center of the tooth and leading to significant decay, discoloration, and more.
Over time, this erosion can also lead to cavities and other forms of tooth decay. Even teeth with composite fillings are not immune to this, as decay locates the fringes of the filling and damages the enamel there, as well.
3. Soda can Discolor Teeth
The acid content in soda contains chromogens, which are compounds with strong pigments that cling to enamel and create discoloration. Because of this, drinking a great deal of soda can make your teeth appear yellow, brown, or even green. Even brushing right away after drinking may not be enough to get rid of this discoloration, if you drink soda frequently enough.
How to Mitigate Dental Damage
While drinking soda is the best way to prevent the damage caused by acids and sugars, most dentists would agree that the occasional pop won’t destroy your dental health. If you want to keep your teeth healthy throughout, though, here are a few tips to follow:
Drink soda in moderation. Even a single soft drink a day will do massive damage to your teeth. For best results, keep your soda consumption to on can a week or less.
Drink it quickly. Don’t savor your soft drink, and don’t swish it around in your mouth. Instead, drink it quickly and use a straw. This gives the acids and bacterias in the soda less time to go to work on your teeth.
Rinse your mouth afterward. As soon as you finish your soda, swish your mouth with water. This will wash away excess sugar and acids, and stop them from drilling into your teeth. 30 to 60 minutes after you finish your drink, brush your teeth thoroughly.
Visit your dentist regularly. Financially, the best defense against ongoing dental decay is to visit your dentist. Regular cleaning and check-ups will help identify issues before they get worse.
Ready to schedule your first dental appointment? Contact our offices today.
Flossing your teeth can seem like a pain, if you are already brushing why should you need to floss? Flossing is incredibly beneficial to your health and helps clean your teeth, brushing alone can’t get your teeth clean enough and rid your mouth of harmful bacteria. Flossing matters just as much as brushing, here’s why:
Floss daily to not only help your teeth but your whole body, if you do not know how to floss or what the best type of floss is for you we would be happy to show you at your next appointment!
It’s one of the sacred cows of dental hygiene: after a meal, you can pop a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth to scrub your teeth of food remnants and beat bad breath.
And it’s no wonder we hop on this train so quickly: chewing gum is an American staple. In fact, theU.S. Census Bureau reports that the average American chews almost two pounds of gum each year.
But what’s the science behind the claim? Is it true that gum really cleans your teeth? Is all gum created equal? Are there any side effects of gum that we might not know about?
Here’s what you need to know:
Can Gum be Good for Your Teeth?
You can’t walk out of a grocery store nowadays without passing a rack of shiny, packaged gum that advertises a whole host of dental benefits, ranging from whitening to freshening breath. It sounds too good to be true, but is it?
No. As it turns out, the hype is real. Certain types of gum CAN be good for your teeth. You just have to know where to look. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you head out gum shopping:
Sugarless Gum Can Help Clean Your Teeth
Sure – there are dozens of gums advertised as cavity-fighting or tooth-boosting. According to theOral Health Foundation, though, any old sugarless gum will do:
“Chewing any regular sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities by removing food particles from the surfaces of your teeth. Chewing also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear away food, strengthen teeth, and reduce the levels of acid in your mouth that cause tooth decay.”
With this in mind, reach for whichever gum is your favorite. Just be sure to stay away from sugar-packed varieties, as they’ll do more harm than good for your teeth.
Gravitate Toward Xylitol
Xylitol is a compound used to replace sugar in foods like chewing gum and peanut butter. In addition to lowering the calorie content of these snacks, Xylitol helps prevent cavities. According toa 2002 study conducted at the Institute of Dentistry in Finland, Xylitol can reduce the level of cavity-causing bacteria contained in the mouth:
“Xylitol is compatible and complementary with all current oral hygiene recommendations. The appealing sensory and functional properties of xylitol facilitate a wide array of applications that promote oral health.”
While bacteria can feed on and digest traditional sugar, using it to create acid and wear away at your teeth, they can’t digest Xylitol, which makes it an excellent additive for gum dedicated to oral hygiene.
Some Gum Protects Enamel
When you thought it couldn’t get any better – some gum goes so far as to protect the enamel on your teeth. Gums with an additive known as casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), also called Recaldent, works to mineralize and strengthen tooth enamel. This, in turn, toughens tooth enamel and decreases the likelihood of dental decay.
5 Ways to Identify Gum That Won’t Help Your Teeth
There are hundreds of kinds of gum out there. So how do you identify the brands that are good for you, and differentiate them from the ones that aren’t? Here are a few fail-proof tips:
1. Look for the ADA Seal – or Absence Thereof
Gum that is tooth-friendly earns theADA Seal. According to the ADA itself,
“A company earns the ADA Seal by demonstrating that its product meets the requirements for safety and efficacy for sugar-free chewing gum. Studies must also show that the gum is safe for use in the oral cavity. The manufacturer must provide the results of both laboratory studies and clinical studies in humans.”
If you don’t see the ADA Seal on the gum in your hand, put it back and pick another one.
2. Steer Clear of Sugar-Containing Gum
In addition to the fact that the ADA only grants its seal of acceptance to sugar-free gums, gums that contain sugar are terrible for your teeth. Don’t worry, though – sugar-free gums still taste great and provide a touch of sweetness you’re looking for. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, reach for sugar-free varieties only.
If you’re not sure what’s a tooth-friendly choice and what’s not, ask your dentist for some recommendations. They’ll be happy to give you a few tips on what to choose next time you visit the gum aisle.
3. Beware of Intense Flavors
While flavored gums aren’t always chock-full of sugar, it’s an excellent general guideline to abide by. With this in mind, steer clear of intensely flavored gums like cinnamon and fruit varieties. It’s also wise to avoid gums that have any filling or “flavor burst,” as that’s just a cover word for sugar.
4. Chew Moderately
Everything in moderation – especially when it comes to your teeth. Even sugar-free gum isn’t great for your teeth if you have it in your mouth all the time. Instead, stick to chewing a piece after meals or between meals. A piece or two a day will be just fine for your teeth, while more than that can create excess salivation and other inconvenient issues. If you have a tough time breaking your gum habit, consider sipping water instead.
5. Talk to Your Dentist
Have any doubts about the gum you’ve selected? Take them right to your dentist. Your dentist is your first line of defense when it comes to your oral health, and they/ll work closely with you to ensure you’re making good dental health choices and picking the right products to protect your teeth.
Care for Your Teeth – Book Your Cleaning Today!
We’re happy to bust the myth that chewing gum is bad for your teeth. As long as you stay away from sugar-filled varieties and keep your chewing moderate, gum can work wonders to cut down on oral bacteria and discourage dental decay.
Ready to learn more about chewing gum and other popular oral health trends? Overdue for your yearly cleaning? Contact our team to book your first appointment today.