Have you ever been told that in order to lose weight, you should cut out all carbohydrates? Did you know fruit has carbohydrates?
While fruit is low in carbohydrates, if you were truly to cut out all carbs, you wouldn’t have much to choose from to eat.
Seems like if someone tells us their neighbor's aunt heard about this diet, or if we read it on the internet, we believe it.
So, let’s bust some other diet related myths you might have heard and believe. You might not think these myths have anything to do with oral health, but they do!
Myth: The lower the calories, the better the choice.
Example: Jolly Ranchers
At 70 calories for THREE Jolly Ranchers, you may be thinking these are a good idea to curb your sweet craving and save your caloric budget. Yes, it may save your caloric budget, but in the process, you can ruin your teeth.
Three Jolly Ranchers have 11 grams of sugar. You suck on this candy until it dissolves, especially because you are told that biting it is bad for your teeth. Well, the sugar essentially swims around in your mouth. The continually sucking and dissolving of the Jolly Rancher makes it hard for your saliva to wash away all the sugar from your teeth.
Jolly Ranchers may seem small and insignificant, but they can cause tooth decay. Same goes for any type of candy you suck on including suckers, caramels, and any other types of hard candy.
Myth: The worst thing about soda is the sugar.
Example: Soda and Pickles
What is the connection between soda and pickles and your teeth? Not the sugar; it’s the acid! The high amount of acid causes cavities and erosion of your teeth enamel. One thing to remember, if you eat something high in acid, like pickles or soda, don’t brush your teeth right away. The acid weakens your teeth and brushing right after can cause abrasion on your teeth's surface.
Myth: Smaller amounts of sugar throughout the day is better than one large portion sized treat.
Example: Small sugar snacks
One of the biggest diet fads is to “cut out sugar!” When it comes to your oral health, yes, you should be cautious of how much sugar you eat, but also be aware of when you are eating. You may think just having a little sugary treat every couple of hours is better than one big treat all at once, but again, it is the opposite that is true for your oral health.
If you are eating or drinking sugary substances all throughout the day, your teeth are essentially swimming in sugar ALL DAY LONG! Once your mouth gets the sugar cleaned off from the first treat, you eat another one and coat your teeth in sugar yet again. Notice what your sugar intake is throughout the day and try to keep the sugar filled foods with your meals instead of as your snacks throughout the day.
These are three simple examples of how what we eat does affect our oral health. Be aware of what you eat throughout the day and what those foods are doing to your teeth in the process.