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We all know that what we eat matters to our overall health, but did you know the food you eat can affect your teeth as well?  The foods you eat directly affect your dental health. Here are some foods to avoid or reduce for a lifelong, healthy smile.
 
Citrus is a delicious treat. However, frequent exposure to the acids present in citrus can lead to enamel damage, which causes teeth to be more susceptible to decay. Rather than consistently adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to your beverage, reach for plain water instead.
 
Hard candy may seem innocuous, but consistent exposure to sugary substances can be damaging to your teeth. Additionally, hard candies can trigger dental crises such as a chipped or cracked tooth. Try chewing ADA-approved sugar-free gum instead.
 
Ice is for cooling off drinks, not for chewing! Even if it is made of only plain water, crunching ice can leave teeth vulnerable to dental emergencies: cracked or chipped teeth, damaged enamel, and the like. Breaking the ice-chewing habit will help protect your teeth from such emergencies.
 
Sticky foods like dried fruit can harm teeth, because they stay on the tooth longer. When eating sticky foods, be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterward. Potato chips and other starchy foods can also get stuck on your teeth. If you do choose to snack on sticky or starchy foods, be sure to floss carefully to remove all food particles, which can lead to plaque build-up. Remember to always brush and floss carefully after you eat!
 
While occasional indulgence can be fun (when paired with a thorough brushing and flossing, of course!), reducing these foods can help ensure a healthy smile for a lifetime.  For more insight on how diet can affect your oral health, call C.R. (Chip) Edwards, Jr., D.D.S. at (407) 322.6052. We’ll be happy to see you!