Although poor nutrition does not directly cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients. Certain foods and food combinations are also linked to higher levels of cavity and tooth decay. Hence, by simply improving your diet, you may be able to prevent some of the most common tooth and oral diseases. From Arcadia Dental Arts, here is a list of the foods you should avoid or should be kept to a minimum to keep your teeth healthy:
Bread – Many types of bread contain sugar, especially processed white breads. It’s best to check the labels for any added sweeteners that will breed mouth bacteria. Bread is also sticky and gets between and behind your teeth.
Diet Soda – Just because it doesn’t have sugar doesn’t mean your teeth are safe. The acidity of diet sodas is still extremely high, making it one of the worst products for your teeth.
Hard Candies – Though you probably know that the sugar in most candies can be a huge problem, hard candies are especially harmful because we tend to hold them in our mouths longer.
Meat – Meat tends to get stuck between your teeth, and some also contain sugar as preservative. While the amount may not be very high, any food that sits between your teeth can promote tooth decay. Try chewing sugar-less gum after eating if you can’t brush right away.
Peanut Butter – Sticky and often made with sugar, peanut butter not only feeds bacteria but makes it easier for them to adhere to teeth. Look for natural peanut butters with no added sugars to lessen the problem.
Pickled Vegetables – Pickles are made with vinegar, which is acidic, and often sugar as well. While the vegetables are healthy, the brine can damage your teeth. Drinking lots of water after indulging yourself in some pickles can help wash away acids and sugar.
Popcorn – This movie-time favorite is notorious for getting stuck in your teeth. It can get between areas that are hard to reach and can cultivate cavity-causing bacteria. It’s okay to treat yourself to a bag of popcorn as long as you rinse with water and remember to floss and brush after.
Salad Dressing – More of a condiment than a food, salad dressings use vinegar and sugar for flavor. Salads should be a staple in anyone’s diet, but be careful of the dressings that can harm your smile.