SANTA CRUZ, SCOTTS VALLEY CA
When thinking about some of the worst foods in terms of their oral health impact, most people automatically say sugar is the worst culprit. But did you know that it’s not just sugar that’s bad for your oral health? While sugar is bad for your teeth, there are also other snacks and beverages that you may not realize could negatively impact your teeth and gums, increasing your risk of certain oral diseases like cavities and gum disease. Today on our newest blog, our family dentists in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share the worst foods for your dental health and what to eat instead.
Starchy or packaged snacks
Most people may not realize that starchy snacks like chips, pretzels, crackers, bread, and anything packaged that can get stuck in your teeth are just as bad for your oral health as sugar. The reason this is the case is because oral bacteria breakdown the starchy foods just like they do sugar, and then secrete acid on your teeth which is the building block of plaque buildup. The health dangers of these packaged snacks are two-fold because most of them are high-calorie and are not nutritionally dense enough to maintain a healthy, low-calorie diet. Instead of packaged snacks, opt for crunchy veggies like carrots, celery, or cucumbers paired with hummus, sugar-free yogurt, cheese, or another whole-fat protein like mixed nuts or natural peanut butter, or almond butter. If you’re craving something “sweet,” pair fresh fruit like an apple or grapes with cottage cheese or sugar-free yogurt. Healthy fats that are high in protein paired with fresh fruits and veggies can help keep you fuller for longer. Choosing healthier snacks will also have a positive impact on your waistline.
You already are aware that sugary beverages aren’t good for your teeth because sipping on them all day constantly bathes your teeth in sugar. Opting for soda water may seem “healthier,” although these beverages are highly acidic, which also leads to enamel erosion and an increased risk of cavities. Instead of soda water, opt for plain water or a sugar-free flavored beverage that isn’t highly acidic. If you find that your tastebuds crave something other than water, just pair your beverage with a meal and brush your teeth afterward to remove acidic residue.
Substances that cause dry mouth
Alcohol is notorious for causing dehydration, which can dry out your mouth. A dry mouth is more than just uncomfortable. It increases bacteria development, which means that you run a greater risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so responsibly and in moderation, and pair your adult beverage with plenty of water to prevent dehydration and dry mouth. Additionally, certain medications may cause dry mouth as a side effect. If you experience this unwanted side effect, you should talk to your doctor about an alternative medication or ways to combat dry mouth.
Family Dentists in Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos, California
Maintaining your oral health can be simple by practicing good oral hygiene daily. You should brush twice a day and floss daily. We also recommend seeing the dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams, but we also encourage you to stick to a healthy diet as often as possible. If you would like to learn more ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy or need to schedule an appointment, please call Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry at (831) 438-4411.