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Say Goodbye to Cavities: Top Foods and Drinks to Steer Clear Of!

They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth.
That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that leads to gum disease and tooth decay. Sugars from food cause these bacteria to produce acids harming tooth enamel, potentially causing cavities.
Cavities, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are prevalent among those aged six to 19, leading to pain and chewing difficulties.
Neglecting to brush or floss causes plaque to become tartar, which can result in gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.

How can you prevent plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth?

Besides brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing and visiting your Coquitlam dentist regularly, try to avoid or limit the foods below.
In general, you should stay away from food and drinks that are acidic, high in sugar and starch, and sticky.
The following items are particularly damaging:

1. Soda

Drinking carbonated sugary drinks is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Fizzy drinks essentially coat your entire mouth with tooth-decaying acid.
One study even found sugar-filled soda could be as bad for your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine!
Keep your soda intake to a minimum, and when you do indulge, make sure to wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth afterward.

2. Sour Candy

All types of candy are tough on your teeth, but sour candy, in particular, is especially damaging.
Not only do sour candies contain a unique type of acid that eats away at your enamel, they also tend to be chewy and will stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay.
If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.

3. Bread

Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar.
Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities.
When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.

4. Citrus Fruits

It’s true citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are delicious and packed with healthy vitamins. Unfortunately, they’re also full of acid that will erode your tooth enamel.
To combat this acidity, eat citrus fruits in moderation and make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after you’re done.

5. Alcohol

We all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you realize that when you drink, you dry out your mouth?
A dry mouth lacks saliva, which we need to keep our teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles.
To help keep your mouth hydrated, drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions.

6. Ice

All it contains is water, so it’s fine to chew ice, right? Not so, according to the Canadian Dental Association.
Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it.
To resist the urge, opt for chilled water or drinks without ice.

7. Potato Chips

Potato chips’ satisfying crunch often comes with a downside: high starch content that turns to sugar, feeding plaque bacteria in our mouths.
The acid produced from munching on multiple chips can linger, so it’s important to floss after indulging to remove any trapped food particles.

8. Dried Fruits

You might think dried fruits are a good snack option. They can be, but they’re often very sticky. Apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins stick to your teeth, leaving sugar behind.
If you eat dried fruits, rinse your mouth with water and brush and floss right after. Fresh fruits are better because they have less sugar!

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