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You might think it’s quite simple to choose food that is healthy for your teeth when out on your weekly grocery trip. But many people fall into the “sweet is bad” trap and while this is true to a certain extent, it is not the general rule of thumb most people think it is when considering dental health. Many consumers buy natural foods or foods that are high in vitamins without giving it a second thought, but what if we told you that many of those healthy foods could prove harmful to your teeth.

Here we take a look at some of the foods that fly under the dental health radar and could possibly land you in your dentist’s chair a little sooner than anticipated.

Citrus fruits

While citrus fruits are a fantastic source of Vitamin C which helps fight off those nasty cold and flu germs, they also contain citric acid which is a serious danger to tooth enamel. The citric acid in lemons and oranges in particular will eat away at the protective enamel which shields your teeth, and deterioration of this enamel can lead to serious tooth decay. If you are eating an orange or any other citrus fruit it is always a good idea to rinse your mouth immediately to remove any residue.

Sticky fruit

Dried fruit or sticky fruit such as raisins or pitted prunes are often thought of as a perfect alternative to candy and it is any parent’s dream to see their child sitting with a box of raisins rather than a bag of candy. But unfortunately while these fruits may be full of essential minerals, they also contain fruit sugars which can be turned into acid by the bacteria present in your mouth. This is particularly true when pieces of the fruit get lodged between your teeth. The simple way to avoid this acid from rotting your teeth is to brush or floss after eating.

Sports drinks

While sports drinks are considered by many to be a great way to rehydrate during a strenuous workout or whilst playing sports, they are in general quite acidic which, as we earlier mentioned, is a major factor in tooth decay. Usually after eating or drinking something that is acidic, rinsing will wash away any leftovers, however rinsing is not something you are likely to do in the middle of the gym or while playing your favorite sport. Water is by far the best way to rehydrate your body and is completely harmless to your gums and teeth.

Apples

This is another food that is high in acid, and I’m sure by this stage you can see where we are going with this. Apples provide much needed minerals to the body and of course should remain in your diet but anyone who has eaten an apple will know that, more often than not, small pieces will become lodged between your teeth and stay there until brushed or flossed out. So as with all other acidic foods, eating an apple should be followed by rinsing or flossing.

Fruit juices

Fruit juices, especially the sweet variety in handy little cartons are a major cause of tooth decay amongst children today. Many parents will allow their kids to drink as much fruit juice as they like thinking that it is a much healthier alternative to soda, but these little cartons are usually extremely high in sugar content and sometimes contain even more than regular sodas. Dentists advise that if you must drink these juices, always use a straw as there is less contact with your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly when finished.

Bread

Bread is a surprising food to find on this list but the fact is that a considerable quantity of the bread on supermarket shelves contains sugar at alarmingly high levels. When we eat bread little pieces may become lodged between your teeth just like raisins but because there is no sweet taste we generally think it harmless to our gums and teeth. The best option is to ask your local baker which breads contain little or even no sugar or just read the packaging when buying your next loaf at the grocery store.

There are of course many advantages to buying natural or vitamin rich produce and you should never exclude such foods from your diet simply because they may cause tooth decay or gum disease. But you should bear in mind that a healthy dental routine that includes at least rinsing or flossing after every meal is the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Keeping up this routine and combining it with regular checkups, as advised by dental health authorities, can help to avoid dental health issues caused by these foods and help you keep that perfect smile. So next time you’re out shopping try to remember that healthy food, while great for your body, can also have it’s little disadvantages.

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