Saint Louis Dentist Discusses Foods and Drinks That Affect Oral Health

Written by Dr. Grayem on Oct 3, 2023

When you are ready to take your smile to the next level, it may be time to take a look at your diet. The food and drinks that we consume affect our smiles—both in appearance and health. Our Saint Louis dentists have put together this short overview of the ways in which popular foods and drinks affect your smile.

The first thing to keep in mind is that water is the number one most beneficial drink when it comes to oral health. When you drink water, you rinse away harmful plaque and dental debris, while simultaneously promoting saliva production.

  • Both coffee and tea are likely to stain dental enamel over time
  • Sodas and energy drinks are laden with sugar. Because oral bacteria feed on sugars, and need them to grow, these types of beverages can wreak havoc on your smile
  • Fruit juices are often quite sugary as well, and they are also acidic. When your teeth are exposed to acid, the enamel becomes temporarily softened, and more vulnerable. Take special care not to brush your teeth for 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure, so as not to inadvertently erode enamel.

There are also a number of foods that can contribute to discoloration and acid damage;

  • Sugary treats, and refined carbohydrates, give oral bacteria a boost
  • Deeply colored sauces can lead to dental staining
  • Chocolate is both sugary and discoloring
  • Citrus fruits are highly acidic, and thus weaken dental enamel for about 20 to 30 minutes directly following exposure

Protecting your smile only gets easier as you gather more information about how dental damage develops in the first place. To learn more about the mechanics of dental health, please reach out to our Saint Louis dentists. You can also schedule a consultation in order to get personalized recommendations.