Many people are aware of the fact that proper oral care is essential to good general health. However, even though good oral hygiene and regular cleanings are vital if one wishes to prevent cavities and gum disease, it is also wise to avoid eating certain foods without immediate brushing, as they may lead to irreversible damage. With holidays such as Thanksgiving, this is something to which thought should be given. When visiting dentists Houston residents should inquire about which foods to avoid and which are wise choices for their teeth. Below are some problematic foods that may potentially harm tooth enamel or cause decay:
Popular favorites such as yams and mashed or sweet potatoes almost always adorn Thanksgiving Day tables. However, because such foods quickly turn to sugar and can easily hide in the spaces between a person’s teeth, they can lead to cavities and decay. Starchy foods such as pasta and gravy made with flour have this same effect.
Corn on the Cob
Another popular favorite that is rarely missing from a Thanksgiving feast is corn on the cob. Unfortunately, because of the way a person must bite into the corn when it is served on the cob, there is no way to avoid having pieces of the kernels lodge between the front teeth. Often, one feels as if he or she has worked these small pieces loose after taking a sip of water or another beverage, but particles are almost always left behind and unless one flosses almost immediately after the meal, they will decompose where they are lodged. This can contribute to the formation of bacteria, and ultimately the start of new cavities.
Over the past several years, fruit has become a very popular addition to a Thanksgiving Day menu and oranges in particular are a favorite in this category. Although a healthy alternative to cake or pie, oranges and other citrus fruits contain acid that can wreak havoc on tooth enamel if diners do not immediately rinse or brush after consuming such foods.
As most individuals realize, sugary fare can lead to cavities and rapid tooth decay. This is because cavity-causing bacteria thrives and becomes more potent in a sugary environment. The best defense against such problems is entirely avoiding foods that are high in sugar or brushing immediately after foods of this type are consumed.
It is also important not to forget beverages that can harm tooth enamel and promote cavities. These include obvious selections such as juice and sugary sodas. In addition, some not so obvious beverages that can lead to enamel problems or cavities include coffee, tea and wine. The latter contains sugar, even though one may not think of it as a sweet beverage. The same is true for coffee and tea, which most people sweeten with milk or sugar. Tea and coffee can also stain the surface of one’s teeth and when consumed regularly can help to break down the tooth’s natural enamel.
Of course, it can be difficult to avoid every food that can promote cavities or harm tooth enamel, particularly during the holiday season. However, making wise choices whenever possible will go a long way toward maintaining optimum oral health. More tips can be obtained from the dentists Houston residents visit regularly or by reading publications available from the American Dental Association.
Contact OMSH today to schedule an appointment or if you have any concerns about your oral health this holiday.