Candy and sweets are notorious for causing cavities in your mouth. The primary ingredient in these candies, processed sugars, cause quite a lot of bacteria growth. If not brushed away, the bacteria will lead to the destruction of your tooth enamel and, ultimately, a mouth full of cavities. With the Easter holiday being over now and the Easter candy being sold for a fraction of their initial cost, make sure to watch out for cavities when indulging! But, did you know that there are three foods which can cause cavities in your mouth, that you might not even be aware of?
Raisins are dried grapes which actually provide many nutritional benefits to a person. Raisins are packed with energy and are loaded with vitamins, healthy fiber, and minerals. With all of the healthy aspects of raisins, such as aiding with digestion, boosting your iron levels, and strengthening your bones, it’s a surprise that they can actually harm you as well.
Raisins are naturally very high in sugar content, which is why they have the sweet flavor that they do. In fact, if you look at the sugar content, raisins nearly contain as much sugar as a candy bar or soda! When consuming raisins, the natural bacteria present in your mouth get extremely excited and begin to eat away at your enamel. What makes raisins ‘worse’ when speaking on dental-related aspects, is that they are sticky. Raisins oftentimes stick to the surface of your teeth and when sugar is left touching your teeth for a long period of time, that bacteria can effectively infiltrate your enamel.
- Saltine Crackers
Although this may come as a surprise to some, saltine crackers are actually fairly bad for your teeth as well! Maybe you are sitting down with a warm bowl of soup, or perhaps your stomach hurts and it’s all your body will allow you to keep down. For whatever reason you find yourself eating saltine crackers, just know that they aren’t the best for your teeth when it comes to the prevention of cavities.
Processed carbohydrates and starches are nearly as detrimental on your enamel as sugars are. They work in a very similar manner, by stimulating bacterial growth and enticing that bacteria to eat away at your enamel. Saltines are also an issue because they crush into a fine powder when eating them, and covers every crevice in your mouth. This may make it difficult to brush all of the crackers off when cleaning your teeth, and thus leaving processed starches on your tooth surface.
- Alcoholic Drinks
Alcohol’s negative effect on your teeth differs a bit from the previous two examples. Although some alcoholic drinks, such as beer, contain starches that can harm your teeth, the primary issue dentists have with alcoholic beverages is that alcohol dries out your mouth.
Everyone always points to saliva as the culprit for their oral health issues, when in fact saliva helps keep your mouth healthy. If you had no saliva in your mouth, and your mouth remained dry throughout the day, bacteria would grow exponentially faster, which would lead to more cavities. When drinking a beer, the alcohol actually dehydrates your body. When this takes place, saliva production slows, which leads to a dryer-than-normal environment in your mouth. This can become a breeding ground for bacteria, so you are always advised to alternate your drinks with water so as to not become dehydrated.
Enjoy Life, But Protect Your Teeth!
There are many other foods that might not be the best for your teeth, but if you try to avoid them all, you may perish from lack of nutrition! It’s important you live your life the way you want; eating and drinking what you please, but it’s vital to keep your oral health in mind. Reduce the amount of time these sugars and starches remain on your teeth by brushing after you consume these things. If brushing isn’t readily available, chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to increase saliva production and remove some of the plaque that builds up until you’re able to brush. It’s important to enjoy your life and that means to eat and drink how you please, but always make sure you try and protect your teeth as best you can… Your enamel never grows back so make sure to take care of it!