There is a saying that goes… you are what you eat… but it’s your teeth which tell the real story of your diet.
As the first line of defence when it comes to breaking down food, your teeth are pretty tough and can handle most natural things – natural being the key word.
Today’s diet consists of things you won’t find in nature, filled with chemicals and sugars, or if it does grow naturally, we’re not supposed to be eating it in such high quantities.
Here are five of the top foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth and should be avoided if you want to keep your pearly whites.
Lollies – both hard and soft
The next time you’re at the supermarket, take a look at the back of a pack of lollies and see what percentage of them are made of sugars. You might be surprised to find that some of them have upwards of 90%, while very few will have less than 25%.
These little balls of sugar are the worst, especially for kids, because they get stuck between their teeth and sit there all day, rotting away enamel. Hard lollies are a double threat because if they’re too hard, it’s easy to break a tooth biting down on them.
Foods high in citrus, such as lemons and oranges, contain high concentrations of acids. While this gives them their unique flavour, it also means they erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time.
Decay is not the only problem with a weakened enamel. Less of this coating allows the dentine underneath to become shine through. Dentine is a natural yellowy colour, so this gives your teeth a more yellow look.
Of course, fruits are a rich source of vitamin C and are good for you, so we’re not suggesting you stop eating them. Just eat in moderation and rinse well with water afterward.
The problem with sticky foods is obvious; they stick to your teeth. Once there the bacteria contained starts eating its way through your teeth, creating cavities.
Even foods that people might think aren’t harmful are still very bad for your teeth. Bread and dried fruits for example.
The starch in bread is broken down into sugars by your saliva when you chew. This paste-like substance sticks to your teeth and the sugars start to go to work on your enamel. With dried fruits, it’s much the same thing. Apricots, prunes, figs, raisins, etc, are all sticky, and will find every little microscopic nook and cranny in your mouth – again, eat in moderation to avoid cavities.
We all know soft drinks are bad for your teeth because of the ridiculous amounts of sugar they contain, but did you know that the acid in them is just as bad? That means even if it’s “sugar-free” or diet, it can still do irreparable harm to your teeth.
Sports drinks are especially obnoxious because they contain both sugars and acids. In fact, one study found that drinking a lot of sodas/sports drinks is just as damaging to your teeth as a meth addiction!
Tea and coffee
Oh no. Not tea and coffee too?
While a cup once and a while is no problem, many of us are drinking far too much tea and coffee. And on top of that, too many people add extra sugar to their beverages. It can’t be overstated just how much damage sugar does to your teeth, in fact, your entire health.
Tea and coffee unsurprisingly stain teeth as well, but the surprising part is that even though coffee is darker in colour, it is tea which stains enamel worse. Both contain organic compounds called tannins, but tea has more of a certain type, which is the main culprit when it comes to staining.
Never too late to fix your smile
If you’ve been eating all the wrong foods for years and drinking ten cups of tea a day since you were 13, your teeth might not be in the greatest shape.
The good news is, we can help.
Here at SDAI in Sydney’s CBD, we can repair damaged teeth and give you back your smile – along with your confidence.
From dental implants to teeth whitening treatments, no matter what the problem is, we have solutions to repair the damage.
Contact us today if you have any questions about our treatments or how we can help. Our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to have a chat with you and offer advice.