Food and drinks we consume have an impactful impact on oral health. Selecting healthy snacks, limiting sweet treats and regularly brushing and flossing are effective measures for combatting tooth decay.
Many are aware that carbonated beverages such as soda (and even diet soda) can harm teeth. Yet others may not realize other beverages can also contribute to tooth decay: fruit juice can contain high concentrations of natural sugars while certain sports drinks contain almost as much as soda does. Carbonated drinks, including pop and soda can coat teeth with acid, further leading to decay.
Starchy foods and snacks such as bread, chips, pretzels, pasta and potato chips can linger in the mouth and break down into sugar, fueling bacteria and leading to plaque and cavities. Dried fruits may also linger and convert to sugar quickly so it is wise to rinse well with water after eating these snacks.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes contain acids which can erode away at tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity, pain, discoloration and tooth decay.
To effectively prevent tooth decay, brushing twice daily for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste is crucial, followed by using fluoride-containing mouthwash or rinses daily and flossing daily – this will remove food particles between teeth that could otherwise lead to plaque build-up and reduce bacteria that lead to plaque formation. Be sure to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and discuss supplemental fluoride options and sealants.