We all know certain foods (especially sugary ones) lead to cavities, but some dental culprits can go overlooked. Here are five shockingly bad foods for your teeth:
It may seem innocent to your mouth at first, but bread can wreak havoc on your teeth. When you chew bread, it’s broken down from starch into sugar. The bread then sticks to the crevices in between your teeth, causing cavities and enamel damage. If you do have a craving for bread, try reaching for whole wheat instead, which has less added sugars.
How can ice be bad? It’s just water, right? Not exactly. Ice is a particularly hard substance, and chewing on something that requires a lot of pressure can harm your teeth. Crunching on ice can lead to enamel damage or more serious dental conditions like chipped or cracked teeth. There is nothing wrong with using ice to chill down your drinks, so keep the ice in your cups where it belongs.
3. Dried Fruit
Many people use dried fruit as a healthier alternative to candies and artificial sweets. While they may be better to digest, they do not do your mouth any favors. As they are usually pretty sticky treats, dried fruits get stuck and cling to the teeth and the space between them. Fruits’ naturally high sugar content can cause plaque or tartar to build around the teeth, so make sure to wash away the remnants with water after you enjoy them.
4. Sour Candies
As obviously bad as candy can be to your mouth, sour candies are even worse! The sour components in the sweets are actually added acids that are rough on your gums and teeth. On top of the acid and sugar, add the usual stickiness of candy, and you have a recipe for a dental nightmare. Instead of sour candies, you should try eating some chocolate instead. Chocolate is lower in sugar and easier for your saliva to break down. Dark chocolate in particular has a relatively low sugar level.
5. Potato Chips
Chips are not known to be the healthiest snack, but many people overlook the hurt they can cause to your mouth. Potatoes are packed with starches, and those starches will eventually break down into sugar. Potato chips have a tendency to get stuck in your gums, causing prolonged contact with your teeth. Make sure to floss after you indulge in potato chips to make sure every crumb is removed.
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