When I was younger, my mother would tell me to brush my teeth twice a day for a dazzling smile. The good child that I was, I listened to her. When I saw my first tooth cavity, I was furious and blamed it on the 9-out- of-10- dentists-recommend- this-toothpaste. I changed the brand of the toothpaste. Fast forward a few months and the cavity was spreading and almost covering the entire tooth. I frantically started researching and what I found out made me realise that all the salt and lemon in my toothpaste could not save my teeth from rotting. I found that I was wrecking my teeth without even realizing it. The diet that I maintained and the habits that I had cultivated were directly responsible for the decay and were destroying my smile.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The Indian Dental Associate (IDA) has indicated that 70% of population in India suffer from dental decay and gum diseases even before they turn 15. I am a good person, and I would never want you to go through what I did (unless you p!$$ me off), so here’s a bunch of things (food and habits) you should avoid to preserve your beautiful smile:
It is the most common reason for tooth decay. Constant exposure to sugar in the form of candies, soda, energy drinks, gum etc. can be harmful for your teeth.
Food that contains citrus are acidic in nature and can erode the teeth enamel, making them more susceptible to decay in the long run. While hot water and lemon are known to reduce belly fat, the citrus in lemon will destroy your pearly whites.
3. Staining agents:
Tea / coffee in their natural form might actually be a healthy option, however, we tend to add sugar to it. Too much consumption of either beverage will also stain your teeth. While green tea is not half as bad as these beverages, it will also lead to teeth staining over time. Other staining agents include red wine, paan (betel leaf) and tobacco.
4. Sticky food:
Food (like dry fruits) that tends to stick to your teeth causes damage even if they are free of sugar.
5. Chewing ice / pencil:
When you are on a diet and are craving for a snack, you resort to munching ice cubes or your pencil. This can cause teeth to lose its enamel and chip making it vulnerable to damage.
Anyone who does not enjoy the nice little *crunch* a potato chip makes is either not normal or lying. But beware! Potato chips are starchy and contain glucose that are a big no-no for the safety of your teeth. Other starchy foods that contain glucose are pretzels and bread.
Smoking is bad for both your lungs and your teeth. It permanently stains your teeth and results in bad breath.
8. Running away from floss:
Avoiding flossing your teeth is an invitation to plaque to settle on your teeth. Floss is the only thread (literally) that will prevent plaque formation and keep your gums strong.
Your smile is your most expensive jewellery, wear it with pride. So, watch what you put in your mouth! And keep smiling and spoil some grumpy person’s day!