With Halloween fast approaching, it’s a good idea to remember that certain foods and sweets are more likely to cause cavities than others. In this article, we’ll tell you more about cariogenic foods, so that Halloween this year will be pleasant with respect to oral health as well.
What Foods Promote the Development of Cavities?
Certain foods and sweets contribute to tooth decay. It’s easy to recognize them and it’s a good idea to try to limit their consumption, since the best way to protect your dental health starts by being careful about what’s on your dinner table or in your trick or treat bag.
From the outset, it’s not exaggerated to say that the foods that contribute to tooth decay are the chief allies of the bacteria that cause one of the main dental diseases, namely dental cavities, which affect tooth enamel. In some cases, a cavity that’s particularly serious will require tooth extraction.
If you have a regular follow-up with your dentist, this procedure is likely to be a last resort option. By scheduling regular follow-up appointments, you can prevent a cavity from getting worse and you can fight it on time. However, in addition to brushing your teeth as well as you can, you must also be aware of the main foods that systematically affect your teeth, if you want to prevent any problems.
The main foods that cause cavities are those that are rich in sugars. Obviously, this applies particularly to the sweets that your children will collect on Halloween. Although these foods shouldn’t be forbidden, responsible consumption will prevent the development of cavities. Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat sweets with moderation, this year.
Some of the Worst Foods for Your Teeth
As we’ve already mentioned, foods that are rich in sugar clearly tend to promote the development of cavities. However, sweet beverages and fruits tend to do the same, to name but two other common culprits.
The following list will help you more easily recognize the foods whose consumption you should keep in check:
- Sugar, gummies and other well-known candies
- Cotton candy, ice cream, desserts and cakes
- Jam, chocolate and honey
- Candied and dry fruits
- Sweet and acidic fruits (oranges and grapefruits, for example)
We could certainly expand this list. The important thing to remember is not to prohibit at all costs the foods and sweets on this list, but to limit their consumption.
It’s also important to brush your teeth after each meal and before bed, and to floss at least once a day. With this routine, you’ll avoid the accumulation of food between your teeth, and as a result your teeth will fare much better.
We’ve shown you some of the foods that are more likely to contribute to the development of cavities, but here are some of the foods that promote little or not at all to the development of cavities:
- Fruits that are less sweet (rhubarb, blackberries and raspberries that are not too acidic)
- Nuts and almonds
- Sesame seeds and chia seeds
- Dairy products
- Raw vegetables
- Sugarless chewing gum
A good habit to get into is to consume these foods in combination with the foods on the first list, although always while keeping in mind to eat less of the latter. Here’s another tip: it’s a good idea to avoid consuming foods that contribute to the development of cavities at the end of a meal. This can be a challenge, since we know these foods are often consumed at that stage, or as a snack in the afternoon.
It’s also good to know that cooked vegetables, eggs, fish and meat don’t belong to either the first or the second list. They’re neutral foods that don’t promote the development of cavities, but don’t protect them either.
To conclude, since water doesn’t contain any sugar, it’s recommended to drink some throughout the day, and especially at the end of meals to clean your mouth and keep your teeth clean. In contrast, coffee and tea tend to stain your teeth over time. Your dentist can give you some good advice about this.
With Halloween on its way, we won’t tell your children not to eat the candies and sweets they receive. However, moderation with sugar will protect their teeth on the long run.
Don’t forget to schedule your annual check-up at your dentist. At the Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville, a professional and dedicated team will take care of your oral health and will proceed with a detailed examination of your teeth. In the meantime, Happy Halloween to young and old alike!