Tooth decay, or cavities, is one of the most common oral health problems. It occurs when acid produced by plaque erodes your teeth, creating holes or a cavity. Plaque contains millions of bacteria that feed on the sugars and starches in food and beverages you consume. After a meal, the bacteria produces acids that attack your teeth. Unhealthy food contributes to tooth decay are:
Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars from your food, creating acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.
When eating sugary foods or starches like potato chips or bread, be sure to practice good oral hygiene afterward by thoroughly brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste.
Sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks may all contain a lot of sugar. The acid in the drink can wear down your enamel over time and lead to tooth erosion and decay. These drinks can also stain your teeth. Instead of reaching for a soda, opt for water instead.
Drinking through a straw may help reduce your risk of tooth decay, as it can prevent the liquid from coming in contact with your teeth. However, sipping on a straw for too long can still harm your teeth if you’re using a sugary or acidic liquid in your beverage. Sipping throughout the day is okay but try to limit it to an hour or so at the most. Drinking water regularly can promote good oral health.
Although coffee has hundreds of health benefits, it can also harm your teeth. The tannins in coffee can stain your enamel and weaken it over time. Consuming dark beverages like coffee and tea can also lead to tooth discoloration. If you must drink coffee, limit yourself to one cup per day and drink through a straw to reduce staining. You can also rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee or brush your teeth after drinking tea.
Both red and white wine can cause tooth stains, but white wine is worse for your teeth because of the acid content. The acid in wine breaks down the enamel of the teeth, creating a rougher surface that’s more likely to get stained by other foods and drinks. If you drink a lot of red wine and are concerned about your tooth color, try sipping it through a straw to reduce your exposure to more stain-causing factors. You can also rinse your mouth with water after drinking a glass of red wine or brush your teeth immediately after you finish your glass. A water rinse can help remove the acids from your mouth before they have a chance to cause any harm.
For more tips about keeping your teeth healthy, contact our experienced dentists at Cheyenne Mountain Dental.
3605 Star Ranch Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906