For most of us, meal times and celebration dinners are hugely important areas of our lives. We plan special occasions around significant meals, we spend time with family and friends over drinks and desserts, and all of us have our favourite comfort foods we turn to on days when we need a bit of cheering up or as a pay day treat.
These foods and drinks, however much we may enjoy them, can however have lasting consequences on our teeth and may have some unwanted side effects (not to mention the side effects on our waistbands!) Here are some ways your favourite foods and drinks are causing havoc with your teeth, and what you can do about it.
Staining your teeth
A bright white smile is something which many of us aspire to as it makes us feel more confident, however if your preference for red wine and black coffee is causing some unwanted staining, it can have the opposite effect and make you feel quite self-conscious about baring your grin.
Help is at hand however. For some simple maintenance tips, always remember to brush your teeth thoroughly after a glass of wine or a cup of coffee to reduce staining potential, or if this isn’t possible, try to drink plenty of fresh water in between refills to rinse your mouth.
When plaque builds up on your teeth, it can act as a magnet for these stains making them more noticeable, so brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist every six months for professional cleaning and plaque removal will help to control this problem.
Yellowing your teeth
As much as we agree with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, we have to admit there are certain foods considered to be ‘healthy’ which will cause some yellowing on your teeth if you eat them to excess. These include heavily pigmented fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and blueberries.
If your favourite food includes a regular curry night this can worsen the condition too. Aside from regular brushing, you may also want to consider professional teeth whitening treatment, to keep your teeth gleaming.
Decay and cavity formation happens when the bacteria which live in your mouth feed on the sugar present and leave behind an acid which attacks your teeth. Naturally, foods which contain a lot of sugar will contribute more to this process, meaning those sweets and sugary drinks you’re so fond of are attacking your teeth all the time.
While it’s not realistic to completely cut out all sugar from your diet (there will still be naturally occurring sugars present in some foods) you can limit the damage by opting for sugar-free varieties and smarter choices when it comes to snacking.
With tooth sensitivity, you can feel pain and discomfort with hot or cold drinks, or both types, making management tricky. For this reason, many people avoid treats like iced coffee or ice cream as this makes the sensitivity flare up. If you’re suffering from some sensitivity, it may be due to exposed nerves, gum recession or enamel erosion.
Talk to your dentist about your sensitive teeth to help identify the triggers and decide on the most appropriate course of action for managing this common condition, without resorting to giving up your preferred cold treats forever.
Still having problems with your teeth? Talk to a member of our professional team today and we’ll help you identify the problem and develop an appropriate course of action for treating, maintaining or preventing future problems.