Ever since you were a child, you've probably been told about all the types of food and drink that can contribute to dental damage. Whether you were told by your parents, your teachers, or even a general dentist when you went for a checkup - this information would have been repeated over the years. You know to enjoy things like lollies and soft drinks in moderation (which is easier said than done), but there are actually a few lesser-known types of food and drink that can be harmful.
It's not a case of avoiding these items altogether, but more an issue of knowing that they can damage your teeth when consumed in large amounts, and also knowing how to counteract that damage:
Crackers and Potato Chips
Have you ever been guilty of enjoying more potato chips than your waistline would like? When you want a salty snack, you might have opted for a few crackers instead. It's not quite the same, but it can feel like a healthy option. Unfortunately, both chips and crackers can be harmful to your teeth. These snacks are high in refined carbohydrates which can be converted to sugar while you're still chewing - sugar that can attack your teeth.
What to Do: After eating chips or crackers, you probably have a fair amount of chewed-up mush left on your teeth. Leaving this cracker and potato chip mush in your mouth can allow those converted sugars to damage your teeth. After eating, rinse your mouth with water, and then floss to remove all debris from between your teeth.
When thinking about the ingredients of wine, you probably don't think about chromogens. It's not an added ingredient, but a compound that naturally occurs in wine. It reacts to a colour and then transfers that colour to surfaces it comes into contact with - sort of like a dye. When you drink red wine, these chromogens are what cause your teeth to become discoloured over time, since the red of the wine is transferred to your teeth. The natural acid within the grapes allows these stains to truly take hold, and can eventually begin to corrode your teeth.
What to Do: Enjoy red wine in moderation, rinse your mouth with water after each glass, and consider primarily drinking white wine.
All fruit contains sugar which can be bad for your teeth, but the texture of dried fruit can make it much worse. It contains just as much sugar as its fresh counterparts, and dried fruit can become extremely sticky when chewed. These sticky fragments of dried tooth can firmly adhere to your teeth, essentially attaching chunks of sugar and acid to your teeth until such time as you clean it away.
What to Do: You probably should clean your teeth after consuming dried fruit. It's so naturally sticky that rinsing your mouth won't be enough to dislodge everything.
The good news is that even food and drink that's bad for your teeth doesn't have to be that bad. Just make sure that you enjoy them in moderation, and that you rinse, floss, or brush afterwards. Good dental hygiene can make sure that these "bad" foods and drinks are nowhere near as bad as they could be. To learn more, contact a professional like Dr Bala Subramaniam Vasanthini B.D.S. with any questions you have.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!