Your oral health matters more than you might think. As your oral microbiome is the gateway to your gut microbiome, it makes sense that a healthy mouth is a critical part of total health. Yes it’s often overlooked. We all know that foods have the power to rot our teeth and damage our oral microbiome. But, how exactly do they do it and why does it matter? Overall there are three tooth terrors to be wary of:
- High Sugar Foods: bad bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar
- High Acidity Foods: that weaken enamel and accelerate tooth decay
- Dehydrating Foods: that damage your oral microbiome
Our goal here is not to alarm you or scare you into a restrictive diet – you can still have that glass of wine! We’re just here to make you aware of the important relationship between your oral health and what you eat. And that when you do choose these foods, lessen the potential damage by washing your mouth our with water or mouthwash afterwards. Simple!
These pure sugar bombs will rot your teeth. As bad bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar; consuming sugar is just like giving these cavity-causing bad guys to a party. On top of that, hard candies can cause chipped or broken teeth and sour ones have extra acids for your mouth to contend with. Try sweets made with xylitol instead. Not only will they do no damage, xylitol actually boosts saliva production with does wonders for your mouth.
2. SOFT DRINKS, ENERGY DRINKS & SPORTS DRINKS
Your mum was right. But why? These drinks are the union of two destructive tooth forces: high sugar and high acidity. Sit these weapons down and try good old-fashioned water instead.
3. DRIED FRUIT
This terrible combination means of sugar and stickiness means enamel-eroding sugar lingers longer and does more damage. After eating dried fruit, rinse your mouth with a glass of water or mouthwash. Or just eat fruit in its natural form instead.
Sadly, quarantine’s most popular beverage isn’t your mouth’s friend. Specifically, alcohol leads to dry mouth; and this reduction of saliva is problematic. Saliva helps to wash sugar from your mouth into your stomach, inhibits damage caused by acid, fights bacteria and repairs early stages of tooth decay by remineralizing your tooth’s enamel.
5. CRACKERS & POTATO CHIPS
Yep, crackers. Carbohydrates quickly break down into sugars, and when they do, they turn gooey and get stuck to your teeth. The same goes with white bread and other white carbs. Try avoiding these altogether and reach for carb-free snacks when you can.
Go easy on dressings, sauces, pickles and potato chips and make a habit of drinking a glass of water afterwards. These acid-laiden foods weakend tooth enamel, which then makes tooth decay more likely.
While they’re great for your immunity, citrus fruits can be a problem for your mouth. When you eat citrus, try to do it in one go instead of stretching it out over the course of a day – we’re looking at your lemon water drinkers!
Wine needs a special mention as it contains erosive acid, which weakens enamel and red wine contains tannins that stain teeth. If you want to drink wine, try brushing your teeth before you swill so there’s less plaque for the wine to latch on to.