Gum disease is a major contributing factor to heart attacks. That’s just one reason why it’s important that you prioritize the health of your teeth and gums. 

Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes and strokes. Your mouth can be an overlooked part of your health, but it shouldn’t be.

Summertime brings a whole new set of foods that come along with warmer weather, picnics, and parties. We’ve pinpointed 5 foods that are bad for your teeth that you need to be wary of while enjoying your summer! Read along as we teach you the worst foods and the worst drinks for your teeth.

1. Fruits

It’s universally known that an abundance of sugar isn’t good for your overall health. It’s also terrible for your teeth.

Your mouth is full of bacteria. When that bacteria feeds on sugar, it forms a dental plaque that eats away at your enamel. The unfortunate thing is that it’s all sugar, including fruits, not just white table sugar.

When you’re chowing down on your summer sides like watermelon and fruit salad, keep in mind you need to brush your teeth soon after. Brushing keeps the sugar from forming that acid that breaks down your tooth enamel.

2. Acidic Beverages

The same goes for your summer drinks! Often outdoor parties include a cooler full of sodas or a pitcher of lemonade.

These drinks cause a two-fold issue. Not only are they full of sugar, but they are highly acidic. This acid causes cavities and stains your teeth. It softens your enamel and erodes your tooth structure.

This also includes your favorite iced coffee drinks. You’re most likely aware that coffee and tea can cause staining on your teeth.

While teeth staining is mostly an annoying cosmetic issue, the deeper issue is the acid and sugar wearing down your enamel. This means that you are more likely to experience teeth sensitivity!

3. Hard Foods

Grilling in the summer is a favorite pastime and with it comes an assortment of grilled meats and veggies. One of those veggies is a potential threat to your fillings: Corn on the cob.

While corn itself isn’t a bad food for your teeth, eating it off of the cob can cause tooth chipping and fillings to come loose. Even if that may not be a problem for you because you have strong teeth, you still need to floss soon after.

This is because the corn strands easily get caught in between your teeth, which is going to cause plaque. That is only going to further contribute to tooth decay.

Corn on the cob is also a food you want to avoid if you have braces! It can dislodge your wires and send you straight to the dentist.

Another hard food to be careful with is chips, especially the kettle-cooked variety. The obvious reason would be that they are tough on soft teeth, but it goes deeper than that.

Chips are full of starch. This turns to sugar, which we now know mixes with the bacteria in your mouth and destroys your enamel. Be ready to grab your dental floss after enjoying some starchy goodness.

One last hard food to avoid altogether isn’t actually a food. It’s ice. Chewing ice is horrible for your teeth. If chips and corn on the cob have the potential to chip your teeth, imagine biting into solid ice.

If you’re needing to cool down, opt for a slushy or popsicle instead. Just don’t forget to follow it up with some brushing!

4. Desserts

Since we’re on the topic of popsicles and slushies, this is a good time to tell you that these, along with ice cream, are the top summer desserts that can wreak havoc on your tooth health. We don’t need to dive too deep into this one as we’re sure you’ve figured it out by now.

These desserts have high sugar content. You can still indulge, but finish with brushing and flossing. 

5. Alcohol

Again, staining is a concern when drinking alcohol like dark beer or red wine. However, the issue we want to bring to light for you is alcohols drying effect.

Saliva is essential for your teeth’s health, and alcohol dries out your mouth. Wine and mixed drinks can already cause a sticky, sweet mixture to form on your teeth. This combined with alcohol’s ability to dry out your mouth and cause food to stick to your teeth is a cause for concern.

In most cases, saliva helps wash food away from your teeth. It can’t do this if it isn’t there. Stay hydrated while drinking alcohol and use an oral rinse to maintain a healthy mouth!

Avoid Foods That Are Bad for Your Teeth

This summer watch out for those tricky foods and drinks that will erode your enamel, cause tooth decay, and produce gum disease. You can’t always avoid foods that are bad for your teeth, but you can take steps to mitigate their harm.

Invest in an electric toothbrush or buy a soft-bristled brush and continue to brush twice a day. Don’t skip flossing, and make regular visits to your dentist.

These healthy habits will keep your teeth and gums in good condition and put gingivitis, dental plaque, and even heart disease, as we discovered, at bay.

We’re happy to help you with your oral healthcare! If you are in the Billings, Montana area seeking an orthodontist, check out the different types of braces that we offer.