3 Healthy Foods Surprisingly Bad for Your Teeth

You know the old saying goes:  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Is that actually true?

Probably not, but many times we can mistake this sort of “common knowledge” as being grounded in truth.

With that theme in mind, your dentist in Federal Way, Dr. Josephine Lee, want to share three foods you probably thought were in the all-clear category for both your general health and your teeth.  But surprisingly, they’re not!

So Healthy It Hurts

Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, but also high in acid!

Citrus fruits are high in vitamins, but also high in acid!

“An orange a day can promote tooth decay.”

Fresh-from-the-fruit Vitamin C is great–but not so much when it’s being applied directly to teeth.  Unfortunately, being a citrus means it’s acidic, and acidic foods and drinks wear down dental enamel.  Worn dental enamel leads to cavities and tooth sensitivity, resulting in an early visit to Dr. Lee.

Tip:  Try to rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating or drinking something that has a high acid content, like citrus fruits.

Popcorn–the Not-So-Cheap Snack

Initially, you may think of popcorn as on of the cheapest, healthiest snacks in town.  But have you every startled yourself by chomping down hard on a stone-like kernel instead of the soft, fluffy piece you expected?

Watch out for the un-popped or half-popped kernels!

Watch out for the un-popped or half-popped kernels!

You’r not alone–many encounter this dental fiasco every year when it causes chipped teeth, shattered fillings, and more dental hassles.

Tip:  Don’t bite down with full force when munching on popcorn and always floss afterward to removed wedged hulls.

A Substitution to Avoid

Substituting dried fruits for candy is not always the better sweet-snack option.  Dried fruit is sticky, which means it stays on teeth longer than some sweets.  This provides an ongoing source of sugar that feeds bacterial growth.

Dried fruits are sticky and stay on the teeth much longer feeding sugar to the bacteria!

Dried fruits are sticky and stay on the teeth much longer feeding sugar to the bacteria!

Tip:  Might we suggest a sweet but less sticky treat…like dark chocolate?  It’s kinder to your teeth.

The Truth About Apples

An apple a day might not be able to keep you out of the hospital, but it may help your teeth.  Apples’ crunchy, slightly astringent qualities make them ideal as natural tooth scrubbers and whiteners.  As a bonus, they just happen to be jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients too.

Despite your efforts to eat in a healthy way and care for your teeth properly, accidents with popcorn hulls may happen and sections of your teeth will get neglected by your toothbrush and floss.  So reality being what it is, be sure to regularly schedule dental check-ups and cleanings for yourself to help keep all in your world of oral health.

Apples are a great snack to help keep your chompers healthy!!

Apples are a great snack to help keep your chompers healthy!!

Is it time to make that appointment with Dr. Josephine Lee, your Federal Way dentist?  Call us at 253-941-6365 today!

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