You've probably had numerous conversations with your doctor about the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Though it doesn't come up as often, your dentist likely has a list of foods he would prefer that you not make part of your regular diet. Most dentists, however, don't want you to give up all the tastiest things in life – moderation is key when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums.
Sugary foods are every dentist's nemesis, because all that sugar encourages bacteria to grow in your mouth. Too much bacteria increases your risk of dental decay. While the occasional candy bar or glass of soda can be part of a healthy diet, removing these sweet treats from your everyday diet will be doing your dentist a big favor. This is especially true when it comes to hard or sticky candies, such as taffy, because they expose your pearly whites to the harmful sugar for longer amounts of time.
Potato Chips and Popcorn
Yes, potato chips and popcorn are sugar-free, but they encourage bacteria to form in your mouth. This is because after you've enjoyed the crunchiness of the snack, they essentially turn into a gummy paste as you chew them. That paste tends to stick quite firmly to your teeth, encouraging bacteria to take up residence. Popcorn also tends to get wedged between teeth, and the longer it hangs out, the more bacteria your mouth contains.
Foods that contain citric acid, such as lemonade, citrus-flavored beverages, and some sports drinks, can be damaging to your teeth. In addition to the acid, which encourages the production of bacteria, these beverages also contain sugar. Acid and sugar are a dangerous combination when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums.
Foods that contain refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white pasta, cause acid to form in your mouth much like sugary foods do. They also tend to get stuck on the surfaces of your teeth, as well as in between the spaces between your pearly whites.
The occasional cocktail has a place in your diet, but alcohol tends to dry out your mouth. A dry mouth doesn't have enough saliva to whisk away food particles from your teeth and gums. Many alcoholic drinks also contain sugar, and this is another combination that is bad news when it comes to your oral health.