Everything that comes into contact with your teeth can affect their health. While some of these dietary items may be well-known, others could surprise you. Here are 5 dietary choices that could harm your child’s teeth.
After a heavy workout or other athletic activity, sports drinks are a common way to rehydrate. They contain electrolytes that water doesn’t and can prevent dehydration. Unfortunately, many of these drinks also contain high amounts of acids and sugars that can damage teeth. The easiest way to limit your consumption of sports drinks is to only consume them during or directly after athletic activities. And be sure to drink some water to help wash away some of those acids that could hurt your teeth.
While delicious, chocolate is high in sugar and tends to stick to teeth. Once on your teeth, the sugars break down to form acids that can cause the enamel to erode. However, not all chocolate is made the same. White chocolate and milk chocolate have much higher amounts of sugar. But dark chocolate is lower in sugar and safer for your teeth. But the best way to keep your teeth safe is to limit your chocolate intake altogether.
It’s common knowledge that candy is bad for your teeth, but some sour candies are particularly damaging. Unlike their sweeter counterparts, sour candies contain different kinds of acids that can erode enamel more quickly. If the candies are chewy, they can be stuck to your teeth for longer periods of time, causing even greater decay.
Starches are one of the least known dangers to teeth and bread is one of the biggest dangers to enamel. The saliva in your mouth breaks down the starches into sugars. Partially-chewed bread can get stuck to teeth and cause even more damage. To prevent this, stick to less-refined breads like whole wheat. Their sugars are less and not as easily broken down.
Sweet carbonated beverages come from a host of problems for teeth. Soda allows for plaque to produce acid that erodes enamel and dries out your mouth. Darker sodas with caramel coloring can stain or discolor teeth. If you do decide to have a soda, do so in moderation and drink water after. While brushing directly after would normally help prevent damage to teeth, with soda it may actually hasten the decay. So stick to moderation.
No one likes to limit themselves on their favorite snacks or drinks. But moderating your child’s intake of these foods can help keep their teeth healthy.