Certain foods and drinks can cause your smile more harm than good.

We all know that a balanced, nutritious diet can help to maintain overall health. And, when it comes to oral health, what you eat matters. The reality is that there are some foods (and drinks) that can cause damage to the teeth and gums — these should be enjoyed in moderation only, or avoided altogether. Read on to find out which foods could be harming your smile…

1.  Hard candy

All sugary treats can cause your teeth some damage, but hard candy in particular can be very harmful. Hard candy tends to stay in the mouth for long periods of time, which means that the teeth are exposed to sugar for extended periods. This gives harmful acids and bacteria plenty of time to attack the enamel, which can lead to cavities over time. In addition to the detrimental effects of sugar, eating hard candy also puts your teeth at risk of injuries like chips and cracks, which can be painful and affect both the function and appearance of your smile.

2.  Citrus fruits

While citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruit are packed with nutrients and can form part of a balanced diet, it is important to understand that they should be enjoyed in moderation. This is because these types of fruits tend to be very acidic and can lead to dental erosion if they are consumed too often. Citrus fruits can also cause irritation and discomfort if you have moth sores or ulcers. If you do enjoy the occasional citrus fruit in its whole or juiced form, be sure to drink some water afterwards as this will help to rinse your mouth and reduce its harmful effects.

3.  Coffee and tea

Most of us like to start the day with a cup of tea or coffee, and while there is nothing wrong with these beverages in moderation, it is important to note that caffeine does tend to dry out the mouth. This, in turn, can cause bad breath and promote the growth of bacteria that can increase the risk of tooth decay over time. Tea and coffee can also cause stains and discolouration on the surface of the teeth, so if you do enjoy a cup, remember to rinse your mouth with water afterwards and, if you can, brush your teeth around half an hour after drinking.

4.  Sticky foods

Sticky foods — this includes sticky candy and dried fruit — can cause some serious damage to your teeth. Because of the texture of these types of foods, they often get stuck in between the teeth, as well as in the chewing surfaces. This means that they can stay on the teeth for long periods of time, which exposes the enamel to sugars and harmful bacteria. If you do eat something sticky and you suspect that you might have leftover particles between your teeth even after you have finished snacking, rinse your mouth with water and brush and floss to get rid of as much debris as possible.

5.  Starchy snacks

Starchy snacks like crackers and chips are a popular choice, but these foods tend to form a sticky paste once they been chewed. This paste can easily get stuck to the teeth, and if left unremoved, can contribute to the build-up of plaque. If you do enjoy this kind of snack from time to time, take extra care when flossing to ensure that you get rid of any leftover particles.

How can we help?

At Dental Artistry, we care about our patients’ oral health, which is why we are available to address any questions or concerns that you have regarding your dietary choices, lifestyle habits and oral hygiene, and how these factors might be affecting your smile. We encourage you to come in and see us for regular check-up and cleans so that we can discuss any issues that you have and provide you with information and advice to help improve the overall condition of your smile.

At Dental Artistry, we offer a comprehensive range of dental services, including general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as periodontics, orthodontics and facial enhancement.

If you would like to find out more about the treatments that we provide, or to arrange an appointment, please give us a call on 09 524 4541 or get in touch with us here.