Habits that harm our teeth might seem pretty obvious, like eating foods that are high in sugar or not brushing and flossing our teeth regularly. But Newberg dentist Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental point out that there are other, less obvious habits that can stress our dental health.
Dieting and Dental Health
Dieting generally means not eating a lot of food that is high in sugar and fat, but also can result in feelings of deprivation that cannot be ignored. While healthy eating is great for both your health and your teeth, it’s difficult to sustain over a long period of time if the change isn’t a gradual process.
These feelings can end up crushing a person’s best intentions for a new diet, resulting in a yo-yo effect. It might be easy to stick with salads and lean protein for a few days, but the sudden change in eating habits can cause a person to binge on foods that are high in fat and sugar. This back and forth dieting is stressful for overall health as well as for your teeth.
Instead of a harsh diet that completely cuts out certain foods and drinks, consider a process that is slower and more manageable. For example, start with replacing soda with beverages like water and varieties of hot and iced tea without sugar. Do this for a week to get your body used to it, then cut out one food product that you’d like to eliminate from your diet such as cookies or chips. The next week, consider adding one serving of fruit and one of vegetables a day.This kind of change will seem slow in our fast-paced society, but will lead to lasting change with less stress – and it will be good for your teeth!
Starchy Foods Stick Around
It might be pretty obvious that sticky candy clings to the surfaces of your teeth and can lead to the development of plaque and tooth decay. However, this is true of starchy foods too, like crackers and chips of all kinds.
While these foods are fun and delicious to snack on, they might be better saved for special occasions. The starch from these foods turns to sugar, feeding the bacteria in your mouth that produce harmful acid. Instead, choose crunchy fruits and vegetables, which add valuable nutrition to your diet and can naturally help clean teeth.
Try No Ice
While cool and refreshing on a summer day, ice can actually be harmful to your teeth. Although it’s frozen water, keep away from crunching on ice on a consistent basis. This habit can lead to chipped teeth or damaged fillings, which would not be fun!
At Newberg Family Dental, we are here to help you learn how to practice flossing and maintain excellent dental hygiene habits at home. Contact Newberg Family Dental here or call (503) 278-4281 to schedule your appointment!