It’s undeniable that eating and drinking are among the most enjoyable everyday pleasures, especially when we share those times with our family and friends. It’s also true that what we choose to eat and drink have a major impact on our oral health. Our friendly dentist at Merrick Dental Arts likes to remind our patients to consider some important facts before making mealtime or snacking decisions.
Sugary foods, especially those containing sucrose, are the biggest culprits when it comes to tooth decay. Why? Because sugar is a particularly welcoming place for bacteria to grow and flourish. That bacteria then gets down to the business of turning sugar from foods and beverages into harmful acids that can inflict lasting damage to our teeth. If not cleaned properly, that bacteria can also form a coating on the teeth called plaque. Plaque can eventually harden into tartar, which brings with it gum inflammation.
Sugary foods that are sticky and chewy, like candy, dried fruits and those popular gummies, are real troublemakers, getting stuck in hard-to-reach places between your teeth and hiding there long after you’ve eaten and continuing to manufacture decay-causing acid.
Also on the hit list are sodas, some juices, and sports and energy drinks that are basically coating your teeth with sugar and acids. And if you think carbonated beverages that don’t contain sugar like seltzer are OK, think again — they contain harmful acids as well. Alcoholic drinks that contain syrupy mixers are also offenders; same goes for those specialty coffee drinks that are loaded with sugar.
It’s important to think twice about our choices at mealtime, and equally important to remember that no matter what you’re eating and drinking, make sure to thoroughly clean your teeth at least twice a day by brushing and flossing. And don’t forget to schedule regular checkups and cleanings with our dentist at Merrick Dental Arts. Please contact our office today for an appointment.