There are a lot of different foods and drinks that, while tasty, aren’t necessary good for your teeth, gums, or overall dental health. But instead of depriving yourself of these food items and drinks, is there anything you can do to minimize the harm they can bring to your dental health? Read on to find out more.
Ice that coffee and tea
Coffee and teas – in moderation – can be delicious and help keep us energized. However, the ingredients in coffees and teas that give them their bitter taste can also stain teeth or erode their enamel. Thus, the less you can expose your teeth to them, the better.
A great trick to accomplish this for coffee, tea and any other fluid is to consume them through a straw. This allows you to bypass most of the teeth in the front of your mouth while still enjoying the refreshing drink. It’s difficult to drink coffee and tea through a straw in their hot forms, so try them iced instead when possible – and use a straw.
While straws reduce the likelihood of stains to the front teeth, your back teeth may not be so lucky – they’ll likely be exposed to some of the acidity. To help reduce the impact to your molars, follow-up iced coffee and iced tea with water.
Eat hard nuts… slowly
Nuts such as almonds, peanuts and pistachios are delicious and contain many healthy proteins and fats. However, fresh nuts tend to be pretty solid and require a lot of pressure to chew. We’ve seen quite a few chipped teeth thanks to patients overzealously biting into a handful of almonds.
To help reduce the risk of chipping or damaging a tooth when eating nuts, consume them slowly, one-at-a-time, and break down large nuts into multiple smaller parts. Or, for a more unconventional trick, try consuming most of your nuts as butters. Pretty much any nut can be purchased in butter form.
If you have trouble finding your favorite type of nut butter, see a health food store or even see if you can purchase the nut as a powder that can be turned into a butter after adding water.
Avoid turning red with wine
A common tooth malady that can sneak up on patients is teeth stains. One of the key staining culprits is red wine, which can quickly turn a white smile into something more so resembling brown or light pink.
While you can drink other staining fluids through a straw to reduce their negative affect on your teeth, you can’t really do the same with wine if don’t want to look silly at dinner parties and when eating out. The best defense you have from red wine stains is to follow-up swigs of wine with swigs of water. This is a good practice anyway to keep the alcohol flowing through your system.
What if it’s too late?
Did you catch this blog post too late and you’ve damaged one of your teeth or are worried about your dental health? Come see Dr. Scott Malik in downtown Glenview and get some help. Even better, you can quickly set up an appointment online!