Can salt affect my teeth?

Nibbles are just as harmful as sweets

If you like to grab a bag of chips, you should pay more attention to dental hygiene. Because the starch in these snacks consists of multiple sugars, which are more difficult to break down, but stay in the mouth for much longer. Some research shows that starchy foods made from potatoes, bread, and grains can be even more harmful than sweets.

Cheese promotes dental health

Good news for cheese lovers: Dairy products make for better dental health. Cheese is high in calcium, which is necessary to build up tooth enamel. Yogurt can neutralize the acidity of fruits and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

It is not the sugar that damages the teeth ...

Chemically speaking, it is not the sugar that directly attacks the teeth. The caries bacteria absorb the carbohydrates in the sugar and turn them into acid. This is what causes tooth decay. We always have the best natural remedy with us: our saliva. It neutralizes acids, promotes the development of the teeth with minerals and fights viruses and bacteria.

Forget about brushing your teeth after eating

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the minimum - but should it be done right after meals? Most experts now say no. Scrubbing your teeth with a toothbrush immediately after eating damages them more than it helps them. It is therefore a good idea to wait at least half an hour after consuming sugary foods. During this time, your own saliva can neutralize the acids.

Dental floss - a dispute among dentists

In addition to brushing, many dentists repeatedly warn not to forget the floss. In the USA, however, “flossing” was recently removed from national health recommendations. Reason: There aren't enough studies that show a benefit. Nevertheless, most experts do not deviate from their opinion: the spaces between the teeth must be cleaned once a day.

Dental care chewing gum - not entirely useless

How nice that would be: Instead of brushing your teeth, just throw in some dental care chewing gum and everything will be good. Unfortunately, that doesn't work in practice. The plaque that accumulates on the tooth surface during the day is too firm to be “chewed off” by a soft rubber. But sugar-free chewing gum is not useless: Chewing stimulates the flow of saliva and thus supports the breakdown of sugar, acids and other substances that damage teeth.

Frequent vomiting destroys the teeth

People with conditions that make vomiting frequently are among the greatest risk groups for tooth decay. Because the regurgitated stomach acid eats away at the tooth surfaces. Anyone who suffers from bulimia and deliberately induces vomiting will end up having problems with their teeth in the long run. Pregnant women who struggle with regular nausea should also bear this in mind. It is best to wait half an hour after vomiting before brushing your teeth and only take a little mouthwash at first.

Sugar is the number one cause of tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental diseases in children and adults. The number one trigger is sugar. Because sugar is that most important food source for oral bacteria.

The oral bacteria themselves are harmless. However, in connection with sugar they form acid as a metabolic product. This in turn attacks your tooth enamel and damages it permanently. If the tartar is decalcified, dangerous caries forms. The sugar is thus indirectly responsible for the tooth decay.

In this context, there is concern: The amount of sugar in food and thus also the sugar consumption has been increasing continuously for years. It is no longer just confectionery that contains sugar, but also many other foods such as:

  • Ketchup
  • fruit yoghurt
  • Fruit puree
  • Quark dishes
  • Drinks like juice and lemonade

The sugar content is particularly high in ready meals.

By the way: All forms of sugar are similarly dangerous for your dental health. The differences between sugar, honey and cane sugar are considered to be minor. However, due to its consistency it is Honey especially harmful to your teeth: It sticks to the tooth surface for a long time and thus destroys the tooth enamel.

The timing of sugar consumption is crucial

Studies regularly look at the influence of sugar on dental health. It is now known that the consumption of sugar directly after a meal is the least harmful to the teeth. On the other hand, teeth suffer a lot from consuming sweets throughout the day. Because when sweets keep affecting your teeth, the amount of acid produced by the bacteria increases dramatically. The Risk to tooth enamel thus increases significantly. The result is an increased risk of tooth decay.

This does not only apply to sweets, cakes and pastries. Sugary drinks that you drink throughout the day are a great danger. Contains sweetened teas, lemonade and cola up to 20 grams of sugar per glass. If you only drink a small sip at a time, the result is a permanent burden on the tooth enamel.

Consuming sugar changes the pH level in your mouth significantly. Actually, it ranges between 6 and 7. After consuming sugar it drops to 4 to 5. The low pH value promotes the demineralization of the tooth enamel. Therefore, the body produces saliva to balance the pH. The tooth enamel in turn regenerates itself through the optimized pH value.

Which substances attack teeth?

There are many foods that can have lasting damage to your dental health. In addition to sugar, they are too carbohydrates in general. Carbohydrates are found in refined sugar, but also in grains. In contrast, both proteins and fats are considered harmless for dental health.

Pay particular attention to hidden sugars in everyday life to support your dental health. It is found in foods that do not belong to the candy category. These include industrially breaded dishes, potato chips and savory biscuits. A Tooth-healthy diet gets by without a lot of sugary foods and limits hidden sugar.

Important: Ready meals are often sugar bombs. If you prepare your meals yourself, you will get by with significantly lower amounts of sugar.

Which foods are particularly harmful to your teeth?

Not all sugary foods will harm your teeth to the same extent. Considered to be particularly harmful sticky foods how:

  • honey
  • Chewy candies
  • cake
  • shortbread
  • caramel

The reason: Sticky foods stay in your oral cavity for a long time and stick to your teeth. This creates the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. It is similar with vinegar-based foods. Vinegar is an acid that attacks your teeth.

A sandwich has a much gentler effect on your teeth. Because the fat makes it less sticky. The time that it stays in the oral cavity is significantly reduced.