Foods That Harm Enamel
Enamel is the productive layer that coats the outside of each of your teeth. This layer is essential to your oral health. It is the hard part of your teeth that you see every time you open your mouth. Unfortunately, when enamel is exposed to sugar, acid, and bacteria, it can break down leaving your teeth defenseless. This is when cavities are formed.
Enamel also works as a barrier for teeth, shielding them from hot and cold substances. If your teeth are more sensitive to these foods or drinks, you may have damaged your enamel. The good news is, there are certain foods that are more prone to damaging your enamel and if you avoid these foods, you can keep your teeth strong and prevent decay.
Foods to Avoid
In order to avoid damaging your enamel, developing cavities, and experiencing sensitive teeth, most dentists recommend avoiding the following foods or only consuming them in moderation.
Foods High in Sugar: Sugar is the biggest culprit of cavities and breaking down the enamel on your teeth. It is advised to avoid sugar in all its forms, but especially hard candies. Hard candies are almost entirely made of sugar that sticks to your teeth, and overtime damages your enamel. A better alternative is to consume sugar-free gum, which will help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Don’t Chew Your Ice: Unfortunately, when ice is chewed it can slowly damage your enamel, leaving cracks in the surface. A good rule of thumb is to keep ice in your drink, but not to chew it afterward.
Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are all high in acid which can slowly eat away at your enamel. It is recommended to watch your citrus juice intake because it is high in sugar but it is also very acidic.
Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are super sticky and high in sugar and can stay on the surface of your teeth for an extended period of time, eroding the enamel. If you do consume dried fruits on a regular basis, remember to drink plenty of water and to brush and floss your teeth after eating.
Potato Chips: Although they are everyone’s favorite, potato chips are a dangerous snack for the enamel on your teeth. The sticky starches tend to get stuck in your molars and in between teeth, the perfect breeding ground for cavities.
Soda & Sports Drinks: Both of these drinks are grossly high in sugar and should be avoided at all cost. Instead, you should drink water as your primary beverage throughout the day.
Alcohol: Alcohol will dehydrate your mouth as you drink more which allows bacteria to thrive. Limit your alcohol consumption to avoid decay and some mouth cancers.
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