The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. As a result, numerous dental offices have closed most of their operations except for emergency dental care only. It is likely that during this period, you will be spending more time at home than you ever have or ever will. Thus, you will need to take extra care of your teeth. The food we eat plays a very important role in maintaining or compromising our dental health. Therefore, we have compiled a list of foods that you should avoid to save yourself a trip to the dentist during this pandemic;
- Hard, Long-lasting Candies and Gummies
For obvious reasons, you should try to avoid candies, quarantined, or not. People tend to bite into hard candies, and this can crack a tooth. Additionally, hard candies and gummies stick and cling to the surface of your teeth or in between teeth. These stuck bits can take a while to dissolve or dislodge, and this can encourage bacterial action leading to cavities on or between your teeth.
It is also important to note that dried fruits are gummier and sticker than regular fruits. Thus, bits of dried fruits can get stuck between your teeth and have the same effect as with gummies. Dried fruits are packed with non-soluble cellulose fibre, which can bind and trap sugars on and around the tooth.
2. Acidic Foods
You probably have a couple of acidic foods and drinks in your house, natural or otherwise. These include lemons, grapefruits, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, fizzy drinks, etc. While some of these are not necessarily harmful, the acid in them can erode the teeth enamel making it porous and susceptible to cavities and staining. If you have to take acidic drinks, use a straw. If you eat acidic foods, rinse your teeth thoroughly afterward.
Some chewable vitamin pills and vitamin waters can also have concentrated acids and can have the same effect on teeth enamel.
3. Junk and Starchy foods
Most of us are spending a lot of time in front of the TV snacking away. As we munch on those potato chips, it is important to understand that despite them not being sugary, bits of them get trapped between our teeth. Because of the oil and starch in them, the bits will encourage bacterial activity, or the starch will convert into sugar. This can precipitate a gum disease, a cavity, or it can decalcify the enamel.
4. Sodas, Sports Drinks, Coffee, Iced Tea
These drinks have a triple-whammy effect on teeth. Sodas and energy drinks are the leading sources of added sugar in the food industry. We already know sugar will cause you cavities. The drinks also contain phosphoric and citric acids, which will erode the tooth enamel with time. The drinks are also colored, which means that they can potentially stain your teeth.
5. Alcoholic Drinks, Wines and Cigarettes
The worst effect of these products on the mouth is that they inhibit the production of saliva, making your mouth dry. Saliva is a very important component of oral health as it helps to wash away food particles and keep oral bacteria balanced. Thus, if your mouth is left too dry, your oral health is compromised. Wines and spirits also contain acids that erode the enamel. Not to mention that the cigarettes are known to stain teeth and compromise the health of the gums.
The good thing is that, to take care of your teeth, you do not need a special diet. You just need to eat the usual healthy, balanced, stay hydrated, floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day.
During this coronavirus pandemic, stay healthy and stay safe!!