When thinking about the relationship between your diet and the health of your mouth, there's a pretty simple rule to consider: if it's bad for your waist line, it's probably bad for your gum line. Here are a few foods that might taste great, but definitely don't do your teeth and gums any favors:
- Sugary foods. Your body may crave candy, cake and donuts, but the high sugar content in them is also exactly what the plaque and bacteria in your mouth need to grow and prosper. By cutting down on these types of foods, you will help to starve and kill off those pesky cavity-causing intruders.
- Starchy foods. Potato chips and French fries may nourish the soul during a stressful day, but they also fuel the flames of plaque and gingivitis.
- Acidic foods. Orange juice, coffee, and red wine taste delicious but are full of enamel-softening, teeth-staining acids that can actually weaken your teeth. By enjoying them in moderation, you significantly lower the risk of experiencing sensitivity and pain.
- Ice. You probably weren't expecting this one, but chewing on ice is a great way to damage the enamel on your teeth. The icy crunch is enough to wear down even the strongest chompers.
*Note: To set the record straight, it's important to note that you are not expected to cut some of your favorite foods out of your diet, completely. Depriving you would be unreasonable (and unrealistic).
The message, here, is that the foods listed come with risks to the health of your teeth and gums. However, by drinking lots of water and brushing and flossing after giving in to your cravings, you will be doing your mouth a great service, in protecting your teeth and gums.