Lately, it seems that I’ve been asked a lot about what we like to see our patients eat or avoid eating. We are presented with lots of advertising and marketing to push food and drink as “healthy” and “organic”, but in reality some can be quite harmful to teeth. Here are some all natural products that we should think twice about before putting in our mouth:
Popcorn – All natural? Yes. Especially if it’s air-popped at home. Healthy? Yes again, without adding butter and salt. Good for your teeth, however? No. Popcorn husks get lodged in-between teeth and gums and can cause infection if not removed in a timely manner. Biting down on an un-popped kernel can chip and break teeth. What if you can’t resist? Floss when you’re done, and use caution when you get to the bottom of the bowl.
Raisins / Dried fruit – Again, these are completely natural [most of the time], and healthy. Keep this in mind, though; drying fruit not only concentrates all of the good stuff, it also concentrates the sugar. Dried fruit is also sticky, clinging to teeth and fillings. A favorite go-to for busy moms everywhere, this snack causes a lot of cavities. Solve the problem by following your snack with a glass of water, or chewing some xylitol gum.
Ice – Your teeth are essentially crystals. Ice is a crystal. What happens when you force two crystals together? One breaks. Usually it’s the ice… every now and then, it’s the tooth.
Bagels – Certainly a better choice than a donut, but for our patients suffering with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) they are a big “no-no”. Even when cut into small bites, they can be too chewy for a fragile joint to handle. Stick to steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast instead.
Daniel Balaze, D.M.D.
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