Is Your Diet Killing Your Teeth?

January 29, 2021 • By Benjamin Wilson
The estimated reading time is 3 minutes

As we get older, we start to find out that our teeth have been abused.  Yet most of us brushed regularly. We even flossed. What are we doing wrong?  

Well, preserving your teeth has as much to do with your diet as it does with all that brushing and flossing.  We need fluoridated toothpaste to help preserve our teeth, and we need to floss to catch food that’s stuck. Yet these measures cannot do the job alone. You have to help by making choices that reduce plaque every day in every way. 

Water versus Soda 

Sure water is better for your teeth, but do you realize how much better?  Let’s compare.  Water rinses sugar and other bacteria from your teeth as you drink.  Sodas add plaque-causing sugar to your teeth as you drink.  Even if you favor artificial sweeteners, you are still heaping phosphoric acid on your teeth when you drink sodas.  Citrus acids are also quite common in sodas. 

So, whether you like water or not, it is important to choose it every chance you get.  Why put a plaque on your teeth with every sip when you can reduce it with every sip? That’s a win-win. (1)

Vegetables versus Potato Chips

We all know that potato chips are bad for us, but we love to eat them anyway.  How are they bad for our teeth? After all, they aren’t sweet. They are salty.  

Well, here’s the thing. Chips are sticky. They stick to our teeth and our dental work. They don’t wash away very easily, and they leave residue behind to build up plaque on our teeth. Fibrous vegetables, on the other hand, actually increase the saliva in our mouths. This leads to the washing away of plaque-causing particles. (2)

Sweets versus Vegetables

It’s already clear that vegetables will be the winner here.  However, it should be pointed out what sweets do that is so bad.  Sugary food will stay on your teeth for twenty minutes after you eat. Maybe longer!  So while vegetables help produce the saliva that cleans your teeth, sweets are packed with the bacteria that cause the plaque that causes cavities.  

How can you indulge your sweet tooth? You should do it with meals. So, eat your vegetables before you have a piece of candy or cake.  Make sure you avoid hard candies that could break a tooth and lead to the need for teeth bonding. (3)

Alcohol versus Drugs

If you think that alcohol is better for you than a drug habit, sadly that’s not true.  Neither habit is good for your teeth. Alcohol dries your mouth. Sugars in the alcohol or the mixed drink stay on your teeth, causing plaque.

Illegal drugs aren’t good for your teeth either.  If they pass over your teeth, that will lead to plaque and deterioration. Even if they don’t touch your teeth, they can corrode them. Just look at what meth does to human teeth.  

In either case, if you are incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, you aren’t going to think about your teeth. You aren’t going to eat right much less brush your teeth. Flossing sure isn’t going to happen.

As you weigh the pros and cons of what you eat and drink, think about how it affects your teeth as well as your physical health. It may help you do the right thing for all the right reasons. (4)

Benjamin Wilson

He is a fitness trainer and part-time blogger interested in nutrition and in leading a healthy lifestyle. He writes smart and inspirational articles on nutrition supported by scientific research and his own personal experience in the healthcare industry.
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