When most people think about the foods they should avoid for the sake of their oral health, sugary sweets and candies come to mind. However, these aren’t the only items that are capable of causing cavities! In fact, there are many foods out there that can be potentially problematic for your mouth. Knowing what’s okay to eat and what you should avoid can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing tooth decay and other oral health concerns. Keep reading to learn more from your dentist about 4 of the most surprising cavity-causing foods out there.
Raisins are dried grapes that provide many nutritional benefits and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fiber. They boost your iron levels, aid your stomach with digestion, and strengthen your bones. And yet, they still pose a threat to your oral health! Raisins are naturally very high in sugar content, with a small box containing almost as much as a candy bar or soda. When you eat raisins, the natural bacterium in your mouth begins to wear down your tooth enamel. Raisins are also sticky and can become lodged in your teeth and gums, furthering their exposure to high amounts of sugar.
Even though they pair great with a bowl of soup when you’re sick at home, saltines are actually fairly bad for your teeth! Processed carbohydrates and starches can be just as damaging to your enamel as high amounts of sugar. Saltines are also crushed into a fine powder as you chew them, covering every crevice of your mouth and making it difficult to clean your teeth of the starchy residue.
3. Alcoholic Beverages
Some alcohol drinks, like beer, also contain starches that can harm your enamel—but the main issue with these beverages is that they can dry out your mouth! Your natural flow of saliva is part of what prevents oral health issues like cavities; if your mouth is dry, bacteria can grow exponentially faster. Alcohol dehydrates your body, so if you choose to partake, alternate your drinks with water to reduce the risk of cavities forming.
4. Cough Syrup
Many cough syrups contain so much sugar that people with diabetes must use extreme caution, as to not spike their blood sugar levels with it! That said, even if you aren’t diabetic, you should still be careful. The sugar levels in these products just aren’t worth exposing yourself to, and they haven’t been definitively proven to effectively treat coughs; all that’s likely to happen is damage to your tooth enamel.
Preventing cavities is entirely possible, especially if you’re mindful about what you put in your body! Avoiding these items or consuming them in light moderation can do a lot to preserve your tooth enamel and keep your smile beautiful.
About the Author
Fossum Dental Group proudly serves patients and families in the Temple area under the leadership of Dr. Richard Fossum! Dr. Fossum received his dental doctorate from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston in 1995 and is a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Central Texas Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out online or by phone: (254) 778-3900.