Living healthy in our modern world can seem difficult, but if you spend much time online you’re sure to get plenty of tips on how to do it more easily. Unfortunately, a lot of the things we add to our days and our diets that claim to be healthy are a bit less so than many of us realize, especially when it comes to our teeth!
At Northwest Dental Group we don’t want our patients to end up doing damage to their smiles because they’re trying to do something healthy. That’s why we want to take the time to talk about some of the habits and foods you might mistakenly believe are helping your whole body.
Blending fruit into a smoothy might sound like a good way to get a boost of vitamins and minerals during the day, but there’s a few things lurking in the average smoothie that isn’t good for your teeth at all.
For starters, a lot of the fruit that’s going into smoothies contains high levels of acid from citrus and other fresh fruits and veggies. The acid in these otherwise healthy ingredients is just as dangerous for your teeth as the acid produced by oral bacteria.
Most smoothies are also packed with sugar, both natural kinds that occur in fruit and veggies and, in some cases, added sugar. When sugar makes contact with the bacteria in your mouth it’s quickly metabolized into acids that erode enamel. Combined with the extra acid already present in the drink and you have one serious cavity risk on your hands!
Packing a box of raisins or other dried fruit in your lunch is another way to snack healthily, but there’s some serious risk involved here too: dried fruits contain a ton of sugar. In fact, a box of raisins contains just about the same amount as a can of cola!
If you decide to indulge in dried fruit you’re not getting any of the health benefits that fresh fruit uses to counteract the harmful effects of sugar, such as fiber. When fruit is dried a lot of those advantages are lost, and the result is a food that has some benefits for your body, but none for your teeth.
If you want to boost your health by eating fruit we recommend always sticking with the fresh stuff.
While there’s no decay-related problems with eating popcorn there are other potential issues: kernels. Popcorn is a great low-calorie snack that can really fill you up without offsetting your daily health tracking goals, but be careful when you’re eating mouthful after mouthful!
It’s easy for an unpopped or partially popped kernel to do damage to your teeth. Trust us – we see plenty of chipped teeth due to popcorn eating. There’s also the potential to get some of it stuck between your teeth, which can cause damage as well. You may not need to give popcorn up, but be careful when you eat it.
Swimming In The Pool
Exercising at the pool is a great way to tone your whole body and get a great cardio workout without feeling as exhausted as you do after a run. Just be careful your swimming isn’t doing damage to your teeth!
The high levels of chlorine in pools can really wear your teeth’s enamel away fast, leaving you more susceptible to cavities. People who swim on a regular basis tend to have a lot more oral health problems, and it’s mainly because of the constant presence of harsh chemicals on their teeth.
Sports Without A Mouthguard
It’s easy to get caught up in the game and forget about your mouthguard, especially if you need to communicate with your teammates. Don’t let recreational or organized sports be the cause of tooth loss or other dental injuries – always wear a custom mouthguard!
Mouthguards don’t just protect against damaged teeth – they also prevent concussions due to extreme forces slamming your jaw into your skull. Getting into the game without a mouthguard simply isn’t safe!
Good Dental Practices Start Now!
It’s never too late to modify your habits to be sure your smile is getting the best care it can. If you have questions about how to take care of your smile don’t hesitate to contact our Rochester office right away – you can reach us at 507-315-2932. We’d also be glad to assess your oral health and provide insight into what you can do to improve it, so feel free to request an appointment online.
We look forward to seeing you soon!