It’s a fact that no one looks forward to going to the dentist. We go however because the dentist can help keep us keep our smiles camera ready. This is important because your smile is one of the first things most people notice about you.
To make your dentist trip nothing more than routine, avoid the following foods that dentists have given a thumbs down.
This fluffy delight is a movie and t.v. watching staple. It appears innocent enough but could be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing as the fluffiness conceals the worst dental offenders which are unpopped kernels and the thin shell that surrounds the kernel.
You can experience mind-numbing pain from biting into an unpopped popcorn kernel or even worse, a cracked tooth. Also, when the thin shell that surrounds the kernel gets stuck between your teeth it can cause bone loss, tooth and gum decay, cavities, or an abscess. It can even result in the loss of a tooth.
If this treat is too good to pass up make sure to always check for unpopped kernels before digging into a bowl of popcorn and use regular floss or a water flosser to remove any particles that may have gotten stuck between your teeth.
2. Dried Fruit
Dentists avoid dried fruit for multiple reasons.
The drying process removes water but concentrates the natural sugar found in fruits. Adding to this is the fact that most brands add sugar to their dried fruit and you end up eating more sugar than you would with a fresh fruit. Dried fruit also tends to be quite sticky and can cling to your teeth creating a ripe environment for bacteria to feed off of which erodes tooth enamel and results in cavities.
If you must eat them, always rinse out your mouth with water as your saliva is no match for the stickiness and also brush and floss regularly.
3. Hot water with lemon
Drinking water will lemon is known to help boost the immune system, improve digestion and strengthen the liver. For people who don’t like the taste of plain water, lemon helps to jazz it up.
Unfortunately, lemon contains citric acid which eats away at enamel. It also causes discoloration and tooth sensitivity. If you must indulge, use cold water instead of hot or warm water, uses a straw, or use lemon oil which is made from lemon peel and has less citric acid.
Are you an ice cruncher or crusher? For the many, the feeling of crushing or crunching an ice cube is pure bliss but sadly, that seemingly innocent item can easily crack or break teeth prompting an emergency visit to the dentist.
Ice should be avoided for the sake of your pearly whites and your wallet, as fixing broken teeth does not run cheap.
5. Peanut Butter and Jelly
The sugar content in peanut butter and jelly along with the fact that it adheres to your teeth with a vengeance creates a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
You could look for peanut butter and jelly with less sugar but there’s no way around the stickiness factor so try and avoid it if you can. If you can’t avoid your favorite childhood treat, try not to eat it every day and when you do brush and floss afterward.
6. Granola bars
Dentists avoid granola bars for two reasons. The first reason is that they have the potential to break your teeth. The second reason is that even though granola bars are meant to be a healthy snack, many have added sugar which breaks down enamel.
If granola bars and other similar bars are your go-to snack, aim for those that are soft and have the least amount of natural and added sugar.
7. Soda (including diet soda)
John F. Buzzatto, DMD, MDS, the 2012-13 president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), says soda should be avoided not just because of the sugar content but also because “Most contain an acid that can weaken tooth enamel—even diet soda.”
If you’re unwilling to part with this enamel weakening drink it is recommended that you drink it through a straw. This will minimize the about of soda that comes into contact with your teeth.