For children, trips to the dentist are scary, mostly because it’s unknown territory. They can still be scary for adults, only now it’s because we know what to expect’and how much it’s going to cost. So keeping our teeth clean and healthy is high on the priority list, which is why we’ve compiled this list of foods to avoid if you want to keep those dental visits to a minimum.
But first, a quick lesson on the basic science from Toronto-based dentist Walter Vogl. Sugar, he explains, is the big culprit when it comes to tooth decay. ‘Bacteria that normally exist in our mouth convert these sugars into acid,” he says. “As soon as your saliva is acidic, it dissolves calcium from your enamel, a process called demineralization. If this process continues. you eventually lose enough tooth structure to develop a hole in your tooth.’
The saving grace is our saliva, which helps to neutralize acid and is full of calcium and phosphates. After your saliva has done its job, the calcium gets reabsorbed into your enamel, a process called remineralisation.
It’s a balancing act between the two processes every day. However, cautions Dr. Vogl, ‘if the frequency or the duration of acidity increases, then you exceed your saliva’s ability to neutralize acid.’ This can cause you to lose more calcium from your teeth than you get back, which is what causes cavities. Here are five foods that can tip the scale in a very negative way.