Although everyone knows that drinking soda (including diet soda) and eating sweets can damage teeth, many of our New York City cosmetic dental patients are surprised when, after noticing some dental erosion, we ask about their “healthy” habits, such as juicing. Here are five “healthy” foods that may be challenging your beautiful smile, and some tips to maintain your pearly whites!
Prior to the presence of gummy vitamins, children often balked at the chalky texture of chewable vitamin tablets. Seeking a more palatable option for kids, vitamin manufacturers created little chewable vitamins similar to gummy bear candies. Needless to say, these took off like a rocket! Figuring that we might enjoy them as well, manufacturers now offer a plethora of gummy vitamins for adults. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, the sugars in these gummy vitamins stick to your teeth just like their candy counterparts. Our advice: Rinse immediately after eating a gummy vitamin and brush as soon as possible to remove the sticky, sugary residue or go back to taking vitamins in pill form.
BBQ & Pasta Sauces
Love your ribs, burgers and fries dipped in BBQ sauce? Addicted to good Italian food? Although yummy, BBQ and pasta sauces not only coat your food, it coats your teeth as well, and both are full of sugar and tomatoes. The sugar can join the bacteria on your teeth to create cavities, and the tomato color can stain your teeth. Our advice: Rinse thoroughly immediately after eating anything with red sauce and brush as soon as you can.
Juicing: Homemade or Purchased
Juicing has been a to-go, power-packed option for busy New Yorkers for over a decade. Whether you make it at home or buy it at the store, juices and smoothies contain lots of acid and sugar—sometimes more than a comparably sized soda. Drinking these juices literally bathes your teeth in that acid and sugar, promoting cavities and dental enamel erosion. Our advice: Drink your juice with a straw to avoid tooth surfaces and wait 45-60 minutes to brush. Brushing too soon actually makes your teeth more susceptible to the acids and sugars!
As a quick snack that doesn’t require refrigeration (read that: can hang out in your backpack or computer bag for ages), dried fruits contain concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients, such as Vitamin E, iron, potassium, calcium, and beta carotene. Unfortunately, dried fruits also contain non-cellulose fiber, which traps the sugar from the dried fruit on (and between) your teeth just like gummy candies. Our advice: Eliminate the sugar by brushing and flossing as soon as possible after eating dried fruit.
OK, you know about red wine’s propensity to stain your teeth, so you’re feeling a bit jittery about the news regarding white wine, right? Truth is, although white wine won’t stain your teeth, it does contain acids that will eat away at your teeth’s enamel, which then enables stains from other foods to leave their mark. Our advice: Have cheese with your wine to buffer the wine’s acid. Not into cheese? Just rinse thoroughly after drinking white wine to neutralize some of the acidity.
Here at iSmile, we’re all about your dental health. If we haven’t seen you in the past 6 months, call us today at 212-267-1884 to schedule an appointment. Your teeth will be glad to see us!
To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists