Cavities are often caused not only by poor dental hygiene habits, but also by diet choices.
When sugar meets your teeth, the bacteria go right to work. But it’s not just candy and soda that’s the problem. Even fruit juice has an incredibly high sugar content, and much pre-packaged food has more sugar than you might expect. Always be sure to double-check the nutrition information on all foods you buy to be sure you’re getting the items with the least added sugars.
Too much sticky, starchy food can also cause problems. Raisins, molasses, potato chips, and bread can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. Remember to be moderate, and brush and floss your teeth afterwards!
Oranges, tomatoes, lemon juice, and other acidic foods are a necessary part of a healthful diet, but too much acid can damage tooth enamel, so it is best to eat these foods with a meal rather than on their own. Diet sodas and diet sports drinks are also very acidic. If you consume any of these acidic substances, rinse your mouth out with water and wait about half an hour before brushing your teeth.
It is also good to remember that alcohol consumption has been found to disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. Limiting alcohol intake, or not drinking it at all, is also good for your teeth.
It’s also important to let your body rest several hours between meals. This gives your mouth and digestive system time to process what you’ve eaten, and if you brush your teeth after eating, there won’t be excess food particles to attract bad bacteria. If you have trouble keeping out of the snacks, try a sugar-free chewing gum to keep your mouth occupied between meals.
Eating healthy foods will improve your overall and oral health, and water is always the best drink. If you do have a sugary drink, taking a swig of water afterwards will help wash some of the sugar off your teeth.