Ways you may be ruining your teeth

So, you brush your teeth each night and stay away from sugary food, but even the most health-conscious people have a few habits that are bad for their teeth. Here are some of them.

Sugar-free drinks
Beverages sweetened with chemicals that aim to replace sugar have copped a bit of flak lately – and for good reason too. Not only can drinking sugar-free drinks actually make you crave sugar, but one such sweetener, aspartame, has been linked to so many negative side effects that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more complaints about aspartame each year than any other food or drink.

Recently, the University of Melbourne tested sugar-free beverages on extracted human teeth and found that consuming these drinks will increase the rate of teeth erosion by 30–50 per cent, due to the high levels of citric acid found in chemically sweetened drinks.

Eating too much salad
Salads are packed with magnesium and calcium, which is great for your body, but not so good for your teeth and gums, as it can lead to tartar build-up and extra plaque. No one is saying that you should stop eating salad though, but you may just need to brush your teeth more often.

Acidic diets
Coffee has its health benefits, sure, but it’s also quite acidic. So are other healthy foods, such as nuts, seeds, fruits (blueberries, cranberries and plums), and condiments such as mayonnaise, soy sauce and vinegar. The enamel on your teeth is very susceptible to highly acidic diets, so, to better protect your teeth, try to balance your acidic food intake with more alkaline foods.

Drinking bottled water
You may think that bottled water is better for you than regular tap water, but one thing that’s missing from bottled water is fluoride and, as we all know, teeth love fluoride. If you steer clear of tap water, you should try to take some sort of fluoride supplement to keep your teeth happy.

Sugar
Okay, so we all know that sugar causes cavities, but allowing it to sit in your mouth for long periods of time makes it even more likely that you’ll damage your teeth. So, if you like sucking hard candy, or even after you’ve swirled your wine in your mouth, have a sip of water afterwards to flush out the sugar and lower the risk of ruining your teeth.

What foods are you aware of that can destroy teeth? Watch out for our part two of this article about caring for your teeth.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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