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For kids, trips to the dentist can be scary, because this is unknown territory for them, but this does not mean that it can’t be scary for adults as well, mainly because we know what to expect and how much it will cost us. This is why we need to make a habit of keeping our teeth clean and healthy.
We have gathered a list of 5 common foods that are destroying your teeth. Sadly, you need to avoid these.
The process behind tooth decay
Before we list the foods that do the most damage to your teeth, it is important that you understand the process behind tooth decay.
Sugar is the biggest culprit when it comes to tooth decay, because the bacteria that already exist in your mouth converts sugar into acid, and when your saliva becomes acidic, it dissolves calcium from the enamel of your teeth, and creates a process called demineralization.
If demineralization continues, you can lose enough of the tooth’s structure and develop a hole in your tooth. The thing that may come to our rescue is our saliva, which can help in neutralizing the acid. Plus, it is rich in calcium and phosphates. After the saliva has done its job, calcium is reabsorbed into the enamel and this is a process called remineralization.
These two processes balance each other out every day, but if the frequency or the duration of acidity is somehow increased, then the saliva’s ability to neutralize the acid will be severely diminished. This means that you are losing more calcium than you can get back, and that causes cavities.
Regular brushing, and changing your toothbrush every few months, is essential for keeping your teeth clear of all the sugars that get stuck and cause problems. With that in mind, here are the five foods you need to stay away from if you want a healthy smile.
While dried fruit like figs, apricots and raisins are promoted as healthy snacks that are filled with nutrients, they are also loaded with sugar. Like this was not enough, they are packed with non-soluble cellulose fiber, which binds and traps enormous amounts of sugar around your teeth. It can be hard for you to give up on this healthy snack, but it would be better if you stick to fresh fruits instead of dried ones.
Red Pasta Sauce
The tooth enamel can get easily stained by dark colored food, and red pasta sauce gives the teeth double trouble with its dark color and the acidity of the tomatoes in it. The acid in the tomatoes makes the teeth temporarily more porous, and this is when the enamel can easily absorb stains.
This means that red pasta sauce both makes it easy for your teeth to stain, and provides the color for the staining. Do not worry, you don’t need to swear off red sauce from your diet, you can protect your teeth by drinking sips of water between your bites of pasta.
Ice has no acid, sugar, pigment, and it is not even a food by definition, so it is easy to believe that you are not in danger. Well, as a matter of fact, you aren’t, unless you have a nasty habit of chewing the leftover ice in your iced drinks. Dental experts can assure you that you can easily crack your teeth if you eat ice on a regular basis. So, let go off that habit, before you do something you will regret.
Store Bought Juices
This is something you wouldn’t want to hear, but the truth is that the juices you buy off the shelf contain way too much sugar. When you drink them, they convert into acids and that damages teeth, so do not substitute eating fresh fruit with drinking juice.
Homemade juices are a better option, if you don't add any sugar and remove the pulp, but eating fresh fruit is best. Homemade kombucha is another great option. Fruit has fibers, while all you get in the juices is sugar. Even though juices can contain minerals, nutrients and vitamins, it is much safer to get all of that from other sources.
For those who prefer white wine over red, prepare for the ugly truth. Although the dark color of red wine causes more staining than the light tone of your favorite white wine, the truth is that white wine is more acidic than red.
That acid makes your teeth more susceptible to stains, so if you combine a glass of white wine with dark-colored food, like pasta with a red sauce, your teeth will be very vulnerable to stains. So, avoid drinking your white wine with dark colored foods.
If you already started planning a mental checklist of the foods you never want to eat again based on this list, keep in mind that all of these foods are fine, if you consume them in moderation and remember to brush your teeth after every meal.