While we all know that nothing can be more impacting than a scintillating smile, what we don’t know is how to maintain it well. Tooth decay, pain and sensitivity are very common problems today, mainly because we pay no heed to the fact that most oral and tooth infections are easily preventable.

Our oral health depends on how well we care for our teeth and gums. While brushing and flossing are efficient ways to ensure cleanliness and hygiene the buck doesn’t stop there. What we eat is equally important. Limiting the consumption of foods that cause tooth decay can be a more effective way to keep our teeth healthy, strong and vibrant. Here are five foods you must avoid for better oral health and a radiant smile.

  1. Citrus Fruits: Packed with many nutrients, especially vitamin C, fruits such as orange, grapefruit, lemons can be eaten anytime. However, we ignore the fact that these foods are also rich in citric acid, which when consumed in large amount causes the tooth enamel to dissolve. This erosion of teeth eventually leads to pain, sensitivity, and decay. Eaten these foods in moderation to enjoy the many benefits without any harm.
  2. Potato Chips: Rich in starch, chips get lodged between the teeth. These remnants act much like sugar particles once pre-digestion starts in our mouth and can lead to plaque build-up. It is best to floss carefully every time you eat starchy foods.
  3. Ice: As refreshing as it may seem, chewing on cubes of ice can damage the tooth enamel. “Ice is a very hard substance and can overload the ability of our teeth to withstand the force of chewing it. You may not notice that there is any effect until small micro fractures progress to the point that a part of the tooth falls and there is missing tooth structure or pain,” explains Dr Mark Warner. Stick to cold water for refreshment.
  4. Soda: Soft drinks and other carbonated beverages such as energy drinks are not only high in sugar, but also contain flavor-enhancing phosphoric and citric acids that weaken our teeth and cause erosion. Kids and teens are more prone to its damaging effects as their tooth enamel is not fully developed. It is best to stay away from soda drinks, go for iced tea and home-made energy drinks instead.
  5. Dried Fruits: Though they make a healthy and convenient snacking option to satisfy our mid-meal cravings, it’s not the best one. Dried fruits such as raisins, prunes and apricots are sugary and sticky, and its deposits can reside for hours between our teeth if not removed carefully, thus causing decay. Have fresh fruits instead to save your teeth.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Diseases & Conditions here.

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A graduate in English Literature, Shruti comes with a gamut of experience in academic freelance writing and television journalism. A strong believer of holistic living, she has always followed the mantra of “a healthy body and a happy mind”. Naturally then, it wasn’t long before she found herself inclined towards wellness and lifestyle. She now writes on these subjects in a professional capacity at Z Living. Her inherent curiosity about healthy living makes her a connoisseur of all things natural, and motivates her to share the knowledge through her writing.