Dental Services in Hawthorne, Nutley & Surrounding Areas

Hidden Sugars to Avoid for Healthier Teeth

These Healthy Foods Might Not Be as Healthy as They Seem

Most of us are familiar with the stereotypical sugary foods that should be avoided, or only eaten in moderation, to maintain healthy teeth. These include cake, soft drinks, chocolate, ice cream, candy, and more. However , some foods and drinks are a bit sneakier when it comes to hidden sugars. Oftentimes, they cause unexpected dental decay in patients who falsely believed they were eating healthy. These foods are frequently marketed as being healthy, making them extra deceptive to consumers.

Foods with hidden sugars include:

  • Cereal bars and granola bars

They seem like a healthy, on-the-go snack, but many bars are filled with corn syrup, sugar syrup, dextrose, and fructose. Some of the most popular brands contain up to 17 grams of sugar, about half of the daily recommended amount from the American Heart Association. Be sure to read the ingredients before purchasing these bars if you want to avoid unnecessary sugars that will damage your teeth over time.

  • Flavored yogurts

This is another snack that may seem healthy, but can be deceptively sugary. Even the brands that claim to be light are actually just filled with gelatin, 10 grams of sugar or more, and unnatural coloring. Sticking with vanilla yogurt is one helpful way to weed out those extra sugars. Plain yogurt is even better, and you can add some fruit for extra flavor. Greek and Icelandic-style yogurts are usually healthier options for your teeth as well.

  • Fruit juice and vegetable juice

Many fruit juices contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, but these drinks are some of the top offenders when it comes to wearing down enamel. The culprit is the acid in the drinks that damages calcium in the enamel and causes the protective surface to break down. This leads to cavities, sensitive teeth, and can eventually cause tooth loss. We understand that some drinks cannot always be avoided, so if you are going to drink fruit juice, drinking it through a straw positioned towards the back of the mouth can help decrease some of the impact to the enamel.

  • Dried fruits

Dried fruit contains more fiber and antioxidants than fresh fruit, so it’s understandable why you might want to consume it. However, some evidence has shown that dried fruits are actually worse for your teeth than regular fruit. While these claims have been disputed, it is worth noting that dry fruit tends to adhere to the teeth more than fresh fruit. For this reason, it is advisable to brush your teeth immediately after eating dried fruit or drink water afterwards if this is not possible.

  • Instant oatmeal

Oatmeal is another food that has a wide variety of health benefits. It is great for heart health, controlling blood sugar, helping you feel full, improving digestive health, and more. We definitely recommend eating oatmeal for these reasons, but we advise that you be careful of the type of oatmeal you choose. Not only are many types of instant oatmeal overly processed, but they tend to contain large amounts of added sugars. Some of the most popular brands of this breakfast-time favorite contain around 10 grams of sugar, which will not get your oral health off to a great start for the day.

  • Some salad dressings

Just as fruit juice wears on your enamel over time, many salad dressings contain acidic vinegar that will do the same. The tricky part is that many of these dressings have other beneficial aspects and are marketed as a healthy dressing, so you might not think about the damage they can do to your teeth. One way to avoid this damage is to look for nut-based dressings or simply use olive oil and seasoning.

  • Kombucha

Kombucha has been all the rage in recent years. It’s a potential source of probiotics, contains antioxidants, can reduce heart disease risk, and can help manage type two diabetes. What many brands of Kombucha do not help with is preserving the enamel on your teeth. Unfortunately, drinking Kombucha can be just as harmful as drinking a sugary soda. The acidic pH level of the drink can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. If you are going to drink Kombucha, there are some steps you can take to mitigate damage to your teeth. One technique is to drink Kombucha in one sitting rather than sipping on it throughout the day. Drinking Kombucha through a straw directed towards the back of your mouth and brushing teeth after drinking are also helpful. If you cannot brush your teeth afterwards, drinking water can help prevent the acid from sitting on your teeth.

How Our Comprehensive Dental Care Will Help Maintain Your Dental Health

Being careful about the foods and drinks you consume is one way to be responsible about your dental health when you are outside of our office. When you are in our office, we will go above and beyond to make sure your teeth stay as healthy as possible. Whether you need a regular check-up to maintain your oral health or are dealing with a dental emergency, our team will provide the care you need. We offer a wide variety of treatment options, including porcelain veneers, dental crowns and bridges, smile makeovers, and more.

If you would like to learn about our comprehensive dental care, call our office today at (973) 427-4201 or contact us online!