Tooth decay occurs when damaged areas in the teeth develop into small holes that have to be treated with fillings or dental crowns and bridges. It can be painful and very costly to sort out so it’s something that we all want to avoid. In saying this, with so much information out there, it can be hard to know what foods actually cause tooth decay.
Most of us are well aware of the dangers of added sugar, including the damage that it can cause to our teeth. This being said, there are many other culprits that can cause tooth decay which are often overlooked.
As a leading Dental Clinic in Cranbourne, we know all about tooth decay and while poor dental hygiene plays a huge role, these popular foods are also a big risk factor:
Of course this first food is the most well known, but we couldn’t do a list of foods that cause tooth decay and not talk about sugar. Although it tastes great, constant exposure to sugar from snacks such as sweets and chocolate can be extremely damaging to your teeth.
A small sweet treat might seem harmless but regularly snacking on sweets is worse for your teeth than having one larger sugar fix occasionally. Our Cranbourne Dental Centre team recommend that you try and limit your sugar consumption to just once or twice a week instead. Either way, just be sure to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming any added sugar.
- Dried fruit
Dried fruits have so many great nutrients and they make for a really transportable and calorie dense snack. However, overindulging on too much dried fruit can also play a big role in tooth decay. Dried fruit contains its own special type of sugar called fructose and this combined with the fact that these sweet treats tend to stay stuck on the teeth, means that it’s better to keep them as a once in a while treat.
- Sugary drinks
Sweet drinks are one of the biggest causes of tooth decay and they are something that a lot of us consume without really thinking about it. While soft drinks like Coke are the obvious culprits, there are lots of other drinks that contain sugar too including: fruit juices, alcohol, coffees and sports drinks. Given that these drinks are so high in sugar, and could lead to severe implications for sensitive or weak teeth, our Cranbourne Dental Clinic staff recommend that our clients try to stick to water.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes taste great but they’re not necessarily the best foods for your teeth. While they contain loads of nutrients that are great for your health, citrus fruits high acidic content can erode the enamel on your teeth, meaning that they are more prone to decay. So while you shouldn’t stop eating citrus fruits altogether, try limiting your intake of citrus fruit, eat the whole fruit rather than the juice and rinse your mouth out with water after consuming.
- Starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, crisps
When you think of foods that are bad for your teeth, bread probably isn’t something that comes to mind. However, what a lot of us forget is that starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, crackers and crisps are actually broken down into sugar when eaten. Not only is this bad news for your waistline, but it also means that any of these remaining foods stuck in your teeth could be a contributing factor to tooth decay. To prevent this limit your starchy carbohydrate consumption and make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly twice a day.
Lots of us like adding foods like gherkins into our lunchtime sandwiches however, the high sugar content of these foods can leave your dental health in a bit of a pickle. Most pickled foods use vinegar to preserve it which has a high acidic content. This combined with a high sugar content means that these foods are a risk factor for tooth decay.
However, it has been found that calcium can help to neutralise the harmful acidic effects so there’s even more reason to enjoy some cheese with your favourite pickles.
- Low-fat foods
Low fat sounds healthy, right? Well, low-fat often means high sugar as many companies pack in the white stuff to make the food taste better. This is common in popular foods such as low-fat yoghurts and drinks so be sure to read the labels thoroughly when doing your food shopping.
Contact us today
There’s no reason that you can’t enjoy a treat every so often but it pays to be mindful of the food that you’re eating in order to avoid dental health problems like tooth decay. Preventing tooth decay in this way will decrease the chance of a tooth getting infected and therefore decrease the chance of a tooth needing root canal treatment.
As a leading dental clinic in Cranbourne, the team here at Broad Oak Medical and Dental Centre know all too well how painful it can be to deal with tooth decay so it’s much better to prevent it in the first place.
If you are worried about tooth decay or are in need of any dental work, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our professional and friendly team today.