Foods to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

Written by on August 28, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page


No one likes going to the dentist; that’s probably safe to say, and children especially find it a frightening experience when they first go. Inevitably though, we will all have to take our children to visit a dentist to ensure that their teeth remain strong and healthy. The difference in their experience though will depend on how well we help them to look after their teeth. Naturally, we will encourage them to clean their teeth well, and regularly, but we can also help them, and ourselves, avoid too much invasive dentistry as they grow, by avoiding certain foods that will cause significant damage to their teeth. Most of these foods contain sugar, which our mouths then convert into the bacteria which attacks the enamel of our teeth. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should avoid all sugar but some food products are worse than others, and not always for the most obvious reasons:

Boiled Sweets

Boiled sweets are a particular problem as we tend to keep these in our mouths for a long period of time. Children are probably more likely to ‘crunch’ them in their impatience, but generally speaking, most of us have a favourite place to lodge the sweet whilst we suck it. This means that a particular section of our teeth take the brunt of the sugar attack, making them very vulnerable to enamel erosion.

Sticky Sweets

Jelly babies, toffee or gummy bears; we all love these sweets; the feeling as we bite down on them to meet that squidgy resistance. Although these don’t remain in our mouths for very long, unlike boiled sweets for instance, the main problem with them is that pieces of them often become lodged in the spaces between our teeth and may remain there for several hours until we next clean our teeth. Even then, there are likely to be minute bits still hidden which cause damage.

Citrus Fruits

This one often surprises people. We have all been told that fruit is good for you and full of vitamin C. This is true, but the citric fruit family are also very acidic, and it is this acid that will erode the enamel of our teeth, making them prone to dental decay and cavities. The same applies to fruit juices.

Muesli and Granary Bread

Both muesli and granary bread are heath foods and in general are very good for our bodies and our overall health. The problem with both of these is that they often contain a surprise or two, often in the shape of either a very hard piece of grain, or, where the product has been stone ground, a small piece of the grinding stone. All it takes is one bite in the wrong place and it is easy to lose a piece of your tooth which will then need dental repair.

Chewing Gum

Although chewing gum is excellent at stimulating saliva flow, which helps to rid our mouths of harmful bacteria; most products are full of sugar which in essence creates a mouthwash full of sugar to attack our teeth. If you must chew gum, then use the sugar free varieties which are available.

Although simply avoiding these foods won’t guarantee that you and your children will have strong and healthy teeth, there is little doubt that they will give you a fighting chance of avoiding the more invasive dental procedures that most people have to endure at some stage of their life.

This is a guest post.  Tony Carrol loves sugary products but has too frequently had to visit his dentist because of it. He is now in sugar denial and trying to give it up .. for a little while anyway.

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