We’ve all grown up with old wives’ tales about the dangers of certain foods for our teeth. But before we start busting myths, it’s important to remember that what’s “bad” for teeth could be defined several ways.
Many myths consider effects like staining, cavities, tooth loss, and cracked or chipped teeth equally devastating impacts on the teeth. From a dentist’s perspective, there’s certainly a scale of bad to worse, but we can certainly support any effort to prevent damage to teeth and to protect their natural strength and beauty!
- Candy: we’ve all heard of foods “so sweet they’ll rot your teeth.” And it’s true! But don’t blame candy itself. It’s not even the sugar in candy itself that causes problems! The problem is that bacteria living inside your mouth feast on sugary foods. What you enjoy, the bacteria enjoy too. So candy can lead to cavities, but only because bacteria feast on it!
- Ice: we’ve all been told to stop crunching ice at one time or another. The truth is that our teeth are strong enough to handle ice, but that there’s no reason to risk it. By chewing the wrong way or hitting an already damaged or weakened tooth, ice could lead to a tooth chipping or breaking.
- Tea and wine: there are lots of health benefits to drinking unsweetened tea and red wine, but the problem arises from staining. People who drink these beverages often almost always reveal so with their smiles.
The important thing to remember is to protect your teeth and their natural beauty and strength. As a result, enjoy these “bad” foods, but remember to brush 20-40 minutes later and floss daily!