What Not to Eat: Dental Edition

Most people know certain dietary choices are healthier than others but did you know what you eat and drink affect the health of your teeth as well? Local dental offices such as Smiles by Andrews will tell you in addition to regular checkups and cleanings, you can keep your teeth healthy by limiting the following food and beverages:

• Wine. Red wine doesn’t just stain your tablecloth, it stains your teeth. It’s substances known as chromogens that are responsible for the staining. The tannins found in wine harm teeth in a different way, drying out the mouth and making teeth sticky. Think you’re safe with a nice white? Think again – both red and white wines contain erosive acid which allows stains to penetrate more deeply into your teeth.
• Tea. Coffee is often the cause of badly stained teeth but surprisingly, tea can be even worse. Black tea has a particularly high concentration of tannins which, in addition to the drying and stickiness mentioned previously, promote staining. Green, white and herbal teas won’t stain as badly, but herbal tea does have a hidden drawback – it actually erodes dental enamel substantially more than black tea.
• Crackers. Saltines may not taste sweet but the refined carbohydrates they contain are rapidly converted to sugar once inside your mouth. That sugar provides the perfect environment for cavity-forming bacteria. Because crackers get mushy once chewed, they tend to lodge between your teeth and build up around the molars. The good news is, thorough brushing and flossing can help prevent any long-term damage.
• Pickles. The occasional pickle won’t cause any problems but if eaten regularly, the acid in the vinegar used to make pickles can significantly erode tooth enamel.

Keep your consumption of these items to a minimum and your teeth will be sure to thank you!