5 Eating Habits That Harm Your Teeth
Your teeth are made out of the strongest material in your body, but that unfortunately doesn’t mean they can withstand any kind of abuse. Even some simple, seemingly harmless eating habits can damage your teeth. Below are some eating habits you should avoid if you want to maintain a beautiful smile for as long as possible.
Chewing on Ice and Popcorn
If you have the habit of chewing on the ice cubes in your drink, then you should really try to stop doing this. Ice cubes can actually cause your teeth to chip and even break. Not just ice cubes can be dangerous for your teeth, but also popcorn kernels. Chewing on the kernels at the bottom of your bowl of popcorn may seem harmless, but it can have the same effect as ice cube chewing, namely chipping or fracturing a tooth. Also avoid chewing on pits of fruits that you’ve been eating. If you really need something to chew on, take a carrot or some celery, which will actually clean your teeth.
A lot of people think that if they have just one soft drink a day, this will not harm their teeth that much. Unfortunately, many then go on to sip on this one soft drink throughout an entire afternoon or evening. Having your teeth constantly exposed to the high amounts of sugar and acid that soft drinks contain, even when it’s just a small amount, can be very harmful for your teeth. If you do want to drink a soft drink, you should finish it relatively fast, drink it using a straw (so it doesn’t touch your teeth that much) and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
If you are constantly snacking throughout the day, especially on unhealthy foods, your teeth will never get any rest and food particles that mouth bacteria feed on will be present in your mouth all day long. Try to limit snacking throughout the day and when you do you, snack on raw vegetables, fruits that are low in sugar (so avoid dried fruits) or aged cheese. Avoid sugary snacks or any snacks that contain a lot of refined grains.
Drinking Lots of Coffee and Black Tea
Consuming too much coffee or black tea can stain your teeth. Instead try drinking green tea, which has been shown to be great for oral health and may even help prevent serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. When you do drink coffee or tea (one or two cups a day should be ok), rinse your mouth with water afterwards to avoid staining.
Eating an Unbalanced Diet
Even if you don’t snack, avoid soft drinks, coffee and black tea, and don’t chew on any hard foods, eating an unbalanced diet can still be harmful for your teeth. Oral health is not just about the foods you avoid, but also the foods you eat. Make sure that you eat lots of vegetables (different colored ones), some unprocessed meats and fish, some starchy foods such as potatoes and some fruits. Avoid refined grains, sugar and processed vegetable oils. That way you should be able to keep your body and your mouth healthy.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry, an Austin dental office. Zane is glad he’s never started drinking soda.