shining a light on food felonies - meet the worst offenders
It is widely known that good nutrition is essential for our overall health, however what people are perhaps less aware of is the fact nourishing foods will also assist in the prevention of oral cavities and minimise the chances of allowing armies of harmful, plaque-causing bacteria to wreak chaos in the mouth.
It is important to know oral bacteria actually converts sugar into acid, which can slowly destroy tooth enamel and trigger tooth decay as a result. Therefore, selecting the right foods to eat on a daily basis is important if you’re serious about protecting you and your family’s pearly whites from harmful bi-products of the foods you eat.
Carbonated beverages - they contain high levels of sugar and harmful tooth-eroding acids. If you must have them, drink them quickly to minimise contact with your teeth, otherwise stay away from them entirely!
Sweet, sticky delights - they may be irresistible at times, but try to keep them for special occasions only. It’s no secret they contain high levels of sugar and more importantly, cling stubbornly to teeth and hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. The long-lasting types are the worst offenders because they expose the mouth to sugar for long periods of time. Ensure contact is kept to a minimum!
Dried fruits – they can be deceiving given they generally fall under the “healthy” banner. It’s important to keep in mind that when dried out, the levels of sugar in fruits such as apricots, pear and figs become highly concentrated and their stickiness is on par with chewy caramel and gummy bears. The non-soluble cellulose fibre found in dried fruits means they wreak havoc on the mouth by trapping sugars on our teeth – so remember to keep a toothbrush handy!
Starchy foods – chips, bread, cereal, mashed potato and pasta can easily become stuck in-between teeth. Bacteria and the pre-digestive enzymes present in our saliva convert the starches they contain into sugar very quickly. Again, be sure to brush!
Highly acidic drinks – they contain powerful citric acid, which after eating should be followed by washing out the mouth. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits are all important parts of our diet and can be delicious to eat, but it’s important to minimise contact with the teeth to avoid damage to tooth enamel.