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3 Foods That Damage Your Smile

Posted on February 18th, 2018

When you’re thinking about things that could be potentially ruinous to your smile, you might think of contact sports and unfortunate accidents. You probably don’t think about the food you eat.

For better or for worse, what you eat and drink affect the health of your teeth and gums! Crunchy foods with a high water content, such as celery and carrots, help reduce your risk of tooth decay. The same is true of cheese! But on the flip side, there are foods that do more harm than good.

Read on to learn about three foods that silently sabotage your smile — as well as ways we can help!

At Atlanta West Dentistry in Marietta, GA, we provide a wide variety of high-quality dental services that can help repair, replace, and cosmetically improve teeth! And Dr. Cameron Watson has actually been recognized for her ability to construct delicious but healthy meals, and she’d be happy to share her expertise!

If you’ve overindulged on problematic foods, if you can’t live without these foods and drinks, or if you want to make better choices for the health of your smile, partner with our expert team! Call us at (770) 941-6979 to schedule an appointment.


1. Citrus


An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if it’s primarily oranges and limes that you’re consuming, you’ll likely be seeing a lot of your dentist. Citrus boasts many health benefits, but their acidic nature causes the erosion of tooth enamel. That’s the hard, outermost layer of teeth that protects them from decay. When your enamel wears away — or decays — you develop cavities, and the decay can spread to the inside of the tooth.

And while it has become increasingly popular to carry around bottles of water with lemon to sip throughout the day, this is perhaps one of the most harmful ways to consume citrus because you’re exposing your teeth to the acids continuously throughout the day.

Gotta have your citrus? Drink plenty of plain water throughout the day, and be sure to brush with a fluoride toothpaste. It also doesn’t hurt to balance out all the acidic citrus you’re eating with foods that lower the pH level of your mouth, thus neutralizing the acids.

Foods with a pH level lower than 5.5 put you at an increased risk of tooth decay, according to a study from the Academy of General Dentistry. Foods that have a higher pH than 5.5 can help prevent decay. Those include dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt.


2. Coffee And Tea


They’re great on a chilly morning, but not so great if you’re trying to maintain a brilliantly white smile. Though they look smooth, the surfaces of our teeth actually contain tiny pits and grooves that can hang onto the pigments in problematic foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

The best way to avoid coffee from staining your teeth is — we’re sorry to say — avoiding it altogether. But we know that that’s not a realistic solution for die-hard java junkies. You can prevent staining by simply changing how you consume it.

If you generally sip your coffee throughout the day, try drinking it all in one designated period, like during your 30-minute commute to work or the time it takes you to fill out the Sunday crossword puzzle. This prevents you from constantly exposing your teeth to the pigments in coffee all day long.

Another great way to keep your smile brilliant is to come visit Atlanta West Dentistry for a professional teeth whitening treatment. We offer in-office treatments and at-home kits that can remove decades of staining, so they’re especially helpful if you’ve never whitened your teeth before.


3. Ice And Hard Candies


It’s fine for keeping your drink cold, but chewing on ice is a dental disaster waiting to happen. Biting down on ice and other things that aren’t meant to be chewed on can cause teeth to chip or fracture — injuries that can lead to decay and infection.

If you’ve broken a tooth on ice or some other hard food item, give us a call. These sorts of injuries should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent further damage. In cases of dental emergencies, we’re usually able to see you within 24 hours. And if your accident occurs outside of normal business hours, just call us and then call the number cited on our answering machine.


Healthy Diet, Healthy Teeth


Your diet should help you improve your smile, not undo the hard work you put into keeping it healthy!

When you partner with the compassionate team at Atlanta West Dentistry, we can help you make sure that everything you’re doing — including your food choices — are setting you up for dental success.

Call us at (770) 941-6979 to schedule an appointment, or simply fill out our convenient online form.