We’ve heard the message since we were children: sugar gives you cavities. Eating too many holiday pastries, drinking too much soda, or overwhelming our barista by asking for more pumps of syrup, can all have a significant effect on our teeth. So, to avoid an emergency trip to the dentist, we chew sugar-free gum, take it easy on the cookies, and trade in our soda habit for carbonated soda-water, because what could be wrong with that? As it turns out, quite a bit. The problem is that the story we’ve been told isn’t the whole story. Cavities are formed from bacteria already present within our mouths. This bacteria is great at breaking down food before it hits our stomachs, but given too much of a certain kind of food source can be a problem. When this mouth bacteria encounters simple carbohydrates and sugars, it then produces acid, which is what actually demineralizes tooth enamel and exposes us to decay.
While carbonated water such as La Croix can be a healthier substitute for soda, that doesn’t mean it’s great for your teeth. When manufacturers add pressurized carbon dioxide to a drink, it can actually make a drink more acidic, and if the water is infused with citrus such as grapefruit, orange, or lemon, the results can be worse. Though definitely a better option than soda, which is both carbonated and packed with sugar, when drinking in excess, the acid contained in seltzer can weaken enamel.
The wonderful properties of spicy foods and peppers have been fairly prevalent in the news as of late. From promoting weight loss, to claims that it could prevent cancer, adding a little spice to our diet might not be such a bad idea. For our teeth, however, there might be an issue. That’s because many bottled hot sauces and not only incredibly acidic, they are often made with sugar. In fact, sweet & spicy Sriracha has one gram of sugar in each five gram teaspoon.
Canned Pasta Sauce
Tooth enamel that has become weakened is particularly vulnerable to dark colors, which includes pasta sauce. More so, the acidity and sugar found in many canned pasta sauces act in unison to erode teeth.If you can’t help but indulge in many of these foods, there’s still hope. One way to assuage the negative effects of acidic foods is to drink plenty of water before and after, to wash away biofilm. Another good rule of thumb, is to avoid brushing for at least twenty minutes, as enamel that has been weakened can often be scratched away by bristles.
The best way to avoid cavities, though, is regularly dental visits. The American Dental Association suggest getting cleanings every six months to avoid serious complications in the future. If it’s been a while, then the time to schedule an appointment is now. If you’re looking for a dentist in Scripps Ranch, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.