We don’t want to scare you and we certainly don’t want to put you off enjoying what might well be some of your favourite foods and drinks. But you must be aware of the old saying: a little bit of what you fancy is fine … so when it comes to talking about your teeth and oral health then we have to tell you that a little is OK, but too much excess of these ten popular foods and drinks can cause serious damage.
As the leading dentist Manchester clinic we see practically every week how people have inadvertently damaged their teeth – by eroding the enamel, causing decay and tooth ache, suffering broken and chipped teeth, exacerbating staining and yellowing of their teeth and suffering painful gum disease.
Also, as dentist Manchester specialists we know how easy all this is to avoid. Just by practising a few simple restraints, changing your eating and drinking habits ever so slightly together with a little bit of self-discipline can be the first steps to the kind of preventative dentistry that will help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy while at the same time you improve your smile, your self-confidence and your whole outlook on life.
So here are our ten dental enemies
- Wine. Both red and white wine is extremely acidic. Drinking too much, too often can lead to irreversible damage to your teeth and leave them sensitive to hot and cold drinks, ice cream and such. If the damage is extensive the dental nerves can also be damaged leading to long-term pain and the need for root canal treatment. Never swirl wine around your mouth as this increases its damaging effects. Rinsing with a good Fluoride mouthwash can help neutralise the effects of wine. Too much red wine stains your teeth yellow as well.
- Carbonated drinks. Fizzy drinks get their bubbles by having carbon dioxide dissolved in them. This creates an acid called carbonic acid that is especially harmful to teeth – literally dissolving the enamel and leading to tooth decay and the teeth rotting away. This also applies to soft drinks, including sports drinks, because generally speaking they are full of sugar that can also cause tooth decay leading to the need for oral surgery.
- Citrus fruits and juices. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and Satsumas etc all contain huge amounts of citric acid. Too much can severely damage your teeth.
- Yogurt. Even ‘healthy’ yogurt can be quite acidic. Occasional treats are fine, but too much, too often will harm your teeth.
- Peppermint. If you wear any type of dentures or implant dental bridges that contain acrylic then you should avoid peppermint teas or mints. The oil from peppermint dissolves the acrylic.
- Seeds. More and more frequently we are seeing patients who have improved their eating habits, but who still come to us with chips or breaks to their teeth caused by seeds from jams such as strawberry or raspberry. Sometimes the damage is caused by people biting on larger seeds such as those found in artisan bread.
- Smoking. OK, we know this isn’t strictly speaking food or drink, but one in two smokers who come to see us suffers from gum disease. Smoking also increases bad bacteria and bad breath and it also kills off the good bacteria in your mouth.
- Ice. Don’t chew ice it causes major fractures to your teeth.
- Caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine in tea or coffee dries the mouth making your teeth more susceptible to dental decay.
- Sticky foods. Dried fruits, cereal bars and other dried foods will stick to your teeth for longer. If they are sweet then they will increase the risk of tooth decay.
As we said earlier it is generally when you have too much too often that the risks are greatest. Be sensible and don’t forget that regular oral hygiene, tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing with a good fluoride mouthwash will also help to prevent problems.
Our final dentist Manchester tip is to have regular check-ups with your dentist and hygienist. To make an appointment call us on 0161 951 7295, or go to our Appointments page and use the online form to make your appointment.