4 Myths about Foods that Cause Cavities
As a holistic dentist practice, our team at Prescott Dentistry believes in disease prevention and treating the root causes of dental issues. One of the best ways to keep your teeth strong and vibrant is through nutrition. What you eat—and drink—can have a big impact on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. But there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to nutrition and dental health. Here are 4 common myths about foods that cause cavities:
Myth #1—Diet soda is better for teeth than regular soda.
Many people believe that because diet soda does not contain sugar, it’s ok for your teeth. However, it’s not only the sugar you have to worry about, but also the carbonation. Carbonated beverages contain carbonic acid, which wears away at the enamel over time. Diet soda also contains more phosphoric, citric and tartaric acids than regular soda, which can also erode your tooth enamel, leading to decay. The best bet is to just avoid soda altogether, as it has numerous negative overall health effects in addition to tooth decay.
Myth #2—Eating acidic foods will destroy your teeth.
Simply enjoying acidic foods or beverages like oranges or lemon water won’t necessarily destroy your teeth. However, over time the acids can wear away the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and decay. But you don’t need to stop consuming those foods and drinks. If you have an acidic beverage, try drinking it through a straw to avoid contact with your teeth. Be sure to drink a lot of water when you eat acidic foods and swish vigorously with water afterwards to help wash away the acid. Wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth to avoid spreading the sugar and acid over your teeth. Also, be sure to keep up with your regular dental routine and get cleanings twice a year to minimize and monitor any enamel erosion.
Myth #3—Only sugar causes tooth decay.
Yes, sugar in candy and drinks can absolutely lead to tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria in your mouth break sugars down into acids, which then attack your teeth. However, sugar isn’t the only food you need to worry about. Other foods like bread, beans, fruit, rice, and potatoes also contain sugars that cause bacteria to stick to your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Food and drinks that are high in acid, even sugar-free sodas, contribute to tooth decay as well. As we discussed above, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after consuming any of these foods or drinks and wait 30 minutes before brushing.
Myth #4—Dried fruits are a healthy snack.
This may be true in the sense that dried fruit is a healthier option than other snacks like candy or refined carbohydrates—but dried fruits like apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins are extremely sticky and actually contain high amounts of sugar. They cling to the surfaces of the teeth and get stuck in the crevices between our teeth, creating the perfect conditions for plaque buildup and tooth decay. If you do like to enjoy dried fruits on occasion, make sure you vigorously rinse your mouth with water and floss right away, and then brush 30 minutes later. Try the fresh versions of your favorite fruits instead when you can—they are less sticky and don’t contain as much sugar!
Give us a Call
As a holistic dental practice, we are passionate about nutrition and educating you about the foods that cause cavities. In addition to healthy eating, oral health problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth flossing once a day and seeking regular dental care with our team at Prescott Dentistry. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!