As part of Children’s Dental Health Month, we’ve researched four surprising foods that are bad for your teeth. At Kids Healthy Teeth, we have noticed that foods many of our patients might consider to be tooth-friendly alternatives may not be as easy on the teeth as they seem.
We’ve made it to the end! The final post in our series exposes another unhealthy food choice. It seems surprising, but that dried fruits like raisins can be a major no-no for teeth. Though they may be packed with vitamins, they are also sweet and sticky…a double threat to your oral health.
Raisins, mangoes, coconut shreds, dates, figs, craisins, and other dried fruit are considered a healthy, tasty snacking alternative for road trips or long days. These snacks can be kept for long periods of time, are easy to pack in lunch boxes, and provide much-needed fiber. However, they are also extremely high in sugar. Since all the water content has been removed from these items, you’ll also need to eat more than usual to get full. This means you’ll be consuming way more sugar than you normally would with regular fruit and there’s no water content to flush it away. This sugar also tends to stay on teeth longer than the sugar from plain fruit because it’s so sticky, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Saliva is your first line of defense against cavities; it washes away food particles so that they don’t sit on your teeth. Bacteria turn starches and sugar in your mouth to acid that destroys your enamel. That’s why it’s important to brush or rinse after eating.
If you have the option, pick real fruit over dried fruit whenever possible. You might also want to give your teeth a quick rinse by swishing your mouth with water after a snack or meal. Last but not least, you should always remember to brush and floss regularly as part of your daily routine.