Maintaining a healthy diet isn't always easy, but you do it because you want to keep your whole body healthy. However, a lot of foods that you think of as healthy may not be the ideal food for at least one part of your body – your teeth. It turns out that it isn't just sugary sodas and sticky candies that cause tooth decay. Your morning grapefruit, your trail mix, and your daily vitamin may all be causing cavities in your teeth. Take a look at the healthy foods that are keeping your dentist in business.
Grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and limes are all great for your body in many ways. Citrus fruits are terrific sources of vitamin C, and they taste great. A glass of orange juice or half a grapefruit can give you an energy boost to help start your day off right. Lemonade or limeade are great drinks to help you cool off on a hot day. So what could be wrong with consuming lots of citrus fruits?
The problem with citrus fruits is their acidity. The acid in the juice from these fruits can wear down your enamel, especially if it remains on your teeth for too long. Remember that citrus juice is a natural solvent – that's why so many household cleaners, both commercial and homemade, use lemon as an ingredient. If it can cut through thick grease and grime, it can cut through your enamel as well.
Trail mix is considered by many people to be a healthy snack that will help you keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Whether you're actually hiking and following a trail, or just trying to get through a day at the office, a bag of trail mix is portable, convenient, and good for you. However, if your trail mix contains dried fruit, it may be damaging your teeth.
Why are dried fruits a problem? In a word: sugar. Fruit is full of sugar, and you probably already know that sugar is a major contributing factor to tooth decay. Additional sugar is often added to keep the fruit from sticking together. And unlike regular fruit, dried fruit is very sticky, which means that it remains on your teeth longer than a fresh piece of fruit would. The longer the food hangs around on the surface of your teeth, the more damage it has time to do.
If you can't stand swallowing pills, chewable vitamins or gummy candy-style vitamins might be the best way for you to get the supplemental nutrients that you're not getting from your daily diet. Vitamin C and multivitamins are popular supplements that come in chewable or gummy form. And while they're intended for kids, many adults prefer to take them in this form as well.
However, the reason why you can tolerate chewing the chewable or gummy vitamins is that the manufacturers disguised the actual taste of the vitamin underneath a lot of sugar. Meanwhile, the chalky-textured chewables get particles stuck between your teeth, and the sticky gummy particles hang around on the surface. The result is that you end up with more cavities.
So, should you give up citrus fruit, dried fruit, and daily vitamins entirely? That's probably not necessary. You can do a lot to prevent cavities by making sure that you only consume the cavity causing food when you know that you'll be able to brush right after eating. So, a grapefruit for breakfast followed by chewable vitamin at home is fine, just brush and floss after you finish. But skip the lemonade or dried apricots in the middle of the work day, when you're far away from your toothbrush, and opt for something more tooth-friendly instead.
For more information, talk to a local dentist or visit http://familydentalcentertn.com/.