The fact that soda and candy aren't good for our teeth isn't news to anyone. However, there are sugars and acids hiding in products that seem harmless and even healthy, which can really cause a lot of problems in our dental hygiene. So we talked to a leading cosmetic dentist from New York, Marianna M. Weiner, DDS, to give us a low down on five offenders that you would never expect to hurt your teeth
Although bottled juices come loaded with healthy nutrients, they also have very high sugar content. Some of these juices have a higher sugar content than soft drinks or smoothies. So drinking them is similar to dipping your teeth in chocolate, says Weiner. The bacteria in our mouth consumes this sugar and turns it into acid, which then breaks down our enamel - causing cavities.
The solution: The best and easiest solution to this problem is to simply sip juice through a staw. This will keep it away from covering the surfaces of your teeth. Also, it's important to wait at least 45 minutes after drinking a sugary beverage before you brush your teeth. Since the acid contained in juices softens our enamel, brushing right away can damage our teeth which are more vulnerable during that time.
2. Chewable vitamins
Many people love chewable vitamins, they taste like candy and are full of vitamins, what's not to love? The truth is, they aren't very healthy for your teeth. Since they are really sticky and sugary, they easily adhere to our teeth and remain there for longer periods of time, creating the perfect environment for cavities to appear.
The solution: We're not telling you to stop taking vitamins, simply take them in a pill form. Sure this might not be as tasty or fun, but a trip to the dentist for a tooth filling isn't fun either.
3. Barbecue sauce
One of the staples of summer is backyard barbecues. You know that sweet sauce you use to marinate your ribs and chicken with? Well, it also marinates your teeth in sugar. This may cause tooth discoloration and decay when left in your mouth long enough.
The solution: We know you can't wait to eat your barbecue, but before eating, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your teeth to make a protective barrier between your enamel and the sauce. Hate having jelly on your teeth? No problem, just brush your teeth after the cookout to get rid of the residue.
4. Dried fruit
Majority of fresh fruits are regarded as beneficial for our teeth such as water-packed pears and apples. However, dried fruits are not! These nutritious snacks are packed with non-cellulose fiber which confines sugar to your teeth the way gummy candies do.
The solution: Immediately after consuming dried fruits, brush and floss your teeth to remove any stuck-on sugar.
5. White wine
Most of us are familiar with the bad reputation of red wine for staining teeth. But not many people know that white wine isn't much better. White wine has lots of acids that wear away your enamel, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to stains from other drinks and foods.
The solution: Next time you drink wine, eat some cheese with it. Cheese is rich in calcium, protein, and phosphorous, which help neutralize the acids wine leaves in your mouth. If you want an approach with fewer calories: Rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine to clean away some of the acidity.