You’ve changed your diet to improve your overall health. You’re feeling great, have more energy, and feel confident. But did you know that even “healthy” foods could be harming your teeth? And with all that confidence you’ve gained, you don’t want your smile to hold you back. To keep your smile shiny, here are a few foods you should avoid.
Bright and colorful, and tasty to boot, fruits are a great way to get your sugar fix without loading up on sugary candies or cookies. But citrus fruits contain acid that can, and will, eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Dried fruits are also a danger to your teeth. They may be smaller, but their sugar content is just as high as regular fruit. Plus, they contain non-soluble cellulose fiber, which can trap sugars on your teeth.
2. Sports Drinks
Replacing your electrolytes after a hard workout helps you feel better, sure, but your Gatorade or Vitamin Water is loaded with extra sugars. Some bottles have as many grams of sugar as two Good Humor chocolate éclair bars!
Even if you’ve switched out your carbs for whole-grain pastas and sweet potatoes, you still run the risk of damaging your teeth. In order to metabolize the carbs and turn them into sugars, your saliva contains pre-digestive enzymes. These enzymes, in turn, produce teeth-eroding acids that are harmful to the enamel of your teeth. Of course, we’re not saying to go back to white grains – the sugars in those erode your teeth even more quickly. Just remember that moderation is key!
4. Dark Foods
We’re not just walking coffee or red wine here, though those are known culprits of teeth stains. Really any food or drink that you consume that has a dark color can possibly stain your pearly whites. Because tooth enamel is porous, it easily absorbs colors from the foods you eat, including soy and marinara sauces, blueberries, cranberries, and more.
5. Gummy Vitamins
They may be easier to take and taste yummy, too, but those chewable vitamins are stuffed with extra sugars to make them taste good. Because of their gumminess, the vitamins tend to get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, too, which can lead to cavities. If you prefer your vitamins be chewable, though, remember to keep an eye on the label for added sugars.
The moral of the story is that even the healthiest of foods can harm your smile. Just make sure to give your teeth some extra protection by brushing them well after eating – and don’t forget to floss!