Summer drinks and snacks can damage your teeth so what should you snack on? There’s nothing that says summer more than a cold soft drink on a hot day, or s’mores after a cookout. Although this is a great season, don’t let summer food traditions damage your teeth. Sugar is harmful, but it isn’t the only thing that damages your teeth. Even “so-called” healthy snacks can be harmful to the enamel on your teeth!
Soda and Other Drinks
Sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the United States and causes cavities in children and adults. In this day of super-sized drinks, 32 oz. cups are the norm. That one drink has 91 g of sugar and a whopping 364 calories, which is bad for your teeth and for your waistline. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, and contains citric acid and phosphoric acid, both of which erode tooth enamel when consumed often.
Sodas aren’t the only culprit. Lemonade, iced tea, energy drinks, fruit juice, coffee drinks, sports drinks and sweetened waters are not good for your waistline or for your gum line. Enjoy these beverages only in moderation and use a straw to reduce direct contact with your teeth.
Bread, pasta, crackers and chips contain processed carbs, which is ultimately sugar. These foods can be as harmful to your teeth as candy. An enzyme in your saliva converts the simple carbs into sugar. Bacteria feeds on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay. Overconsumption of refined carbs also causes inflammation, which is a key component in the development of oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Dried fruit is often touted as a healthy alternative to candy. While it’s a cut above eating candy, dried fruits still contain a lot of sugar. The sticky properties of dried fruit allow this sugar to remain in contact with your teeth for hours and slowly erodes your enamel away.
Although pickles don’t have many calories and are a low-sugar food, the acid in pickles is bad for your teeth. Vinegar is a major ingredient in pickled foods, which causes enamel erosion and can stain or discolor your teeth.
Even healthy fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, contain citric acid, which can cause problems. Avoid eating them too often and refrain from putting lemon in your water to keep tooth erosion to a minimum.
Candy and Sweets
If you eat candy, make sure it’s not the kind that bathes your mouth with refined sugars, like lollipops, caramels, marshmallows or other chewy candies that get stuck in between your teeth. When sugar lingers in your mouth, bacteria starts attacking the outer layer of tooth enamel.
Summer Drinks and Snacks Can Damage Your Teeth So….What Should You Snack On?
Plan snacks such as veggies and fruit to have on hand, eat nuts instead of chips. Cheese, and boiled eggs are also great snacks that provide protein and calcium, which strengthens your teeth. If you have healthy snacks on hand, you’re far less likely to munch on the things that are not healthy for you.
In addition to avoiding tooth-harming drinks and snacks, be sure to practice good oral hygiene at home and visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. To schedule your appointment, please contact Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008.
As a General and Family Dentist, Dr. Evanson treats patients of all ages in the communities of Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.
Enjoy this wonderful summer and all it has to offer, but snack wisely to keep from damaging your teeth!Leave a reply →