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8 Foods to Avoid for Good Oral Health

Food | Lifestyle

Having good oral health is important, but unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to neglect their dental hygiene until the damage done to their teeth is irreversible.

A number of problems can arise if you don't practice good oral hygiene and health. For example, you could experience tooth and jaw pain, contract gum disease, form cavities, or require extractions, just to name a few. Such things are not only unpleasant and painful, but they can eventually lead to the need for dentures.

So, its good to be preventive rather than going for the cure. Below, find out about foods to avoid so that you can improve your dental health and prevent negative outcomes.

1. Ice Blocks

It’s true that chewing ice blocks on a hot summer’s day can offer temporary enjoyment and refreshment, but the hard consistency of ice cubes can cause your teeth's enamel to break down, something that is almost guaranteed to lead to decay.

As a result, this can cause infection and other dental complications. So here's the bottom line when it comes to ice; keep it in your glass and out of your mouth.

2. Lime, Lemon, or Orange Slices

When it comes to beverages, there is nothing as pure, delicious and healthy as Mother Nature's gift: water. That being said, in order to reap all of its benefits, it must be enjoyed in its natural form.

Adding a few wedges of lime, lemon or orange slices to your glass to make it more attractive and palatable may seem innocent enough, but be sure to only enjoy this luxury occasionally. Why? Acidic foods can also be responsible for causing the enamel on your teeth to break down, and this can lead to decay.

So for all you lemonade lovers out there, start making friends with H2O in its purest form.

3. Coffee With Sugar

People love to love sugar, and so, naturally, they all hate to be reminded about how bad having it can be for their dental health. If you are hoping that having as much sugar in your coffee is fine because it will not cause cavities, well, it’s just not the case.

In fact, even without sugar, coffee is not a great choice when it comes to improving oral health because the caffeine causes your mouth to feel dry and leads to bad breath. Also, coffee is notorious for staining your teeth.

I strongly recommend that you make drinking your coffee a little less damaging by cutting down on the amount of sugar you add to your cup of joe in the morning. If you're used to having sugar in your coffee, gradually cut down on the amount you put in it so that your palate gets used to the bitterness of your drink.

Continue decreasing the amount of sugar until you can enjoy drinking your coffee without having to add any sugar at all. If you need coffee in your life, have it the way it should be taken: without sugar. Any coffee connoisseur would agree.

4. Gummy, Sticky, and Finger-licking Good Food

There are few things in the world as appetizing as gummy treats such as sweet chili chicken wings, jellies and licorice sticks as well as honey dipped doughnuts.

But, as amazing as these foods taste, they are not great for your oral health because they tend to easily get stuck in your teeth. This can easily lead to cavities. That being said, it doesn't mean you should never enjoy these foods, but rather, just be sure to brush your teeth after indulging in them to guarantee that those little extra bits get out of the way.

5. Lollipops and Hard Candies

Although lollies have the power to make anybody jolly, they certainly don't help teeth stay strong and cavity-free. Sucking on hard candies expose your teeth to sugar for long durations of time and this, of course, is bad news.

And also, many people cannot resist the temptation of biting hard candies which can then allow teeth to chip, fracture, and eventually decay.

6. Soda

It's no secret that soda is no good for your pearly whites, and that's because of the high levels of sugar and acid found in these drinks. Both of these things can harm or destroy the enamel which coats your teeth, which then leads to dental complications.

Instead of reaching for that bottle of cola next time you want to quench your thirst, go to the tap instead and pour yourself a tall glass of water.

7. Booze

Alcohol is well known for negatively impacting your health if it is consumed irresponsibly, but what is less commonly known is the negative impact it can also have on your dental health.

Alcohol dries out the mouth, in other words, the amount of saliva produced when consuming alcoholic beverages is reduced, which can make people easily susceptible to mouth infections and diseases.

8. Crackers

Many foods contain refined carbohydrates, and crackers are right at the top of that category. Essentially, what this means is they turn into sugar, which is not going to help you prevent those cavities.

So don't be fooled, although these snack foods seem savory (and some would even consider them "healthy"), they give off more sugar than you think.

Looking after your oral health is an important step in avoiding dental complications from happening. It can prevent you from developing mouth diseases or needing extractions and can also avoid you needing to wear dentures. Therefore, always stay informed on the dos and don'ts of dental care to keep those pearly whites healthy and strong.

Image credit: Paige Rene

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