Foods that you would consider “sticky” are usually loaded with sugar, and sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of dental decay. But with sticky foods, there is a double whammy … since they are sticky, they tend to cling to your teeth allowing those sugars to permeate enamel and do damage. The solution could be as simple as avoiding those foods; but if you should eat them, be sure to keep up with regular visits to your dentist.

What Do You Mean By Sticky Foods?

dentist WurzbachAnything you eat that has a chewy, gummy consistency is more likely to cling to teeth. If you like dried fruit, try eating the original version instead. Dried fruits are higher in sugar and cling to teeth.

Who doesn’t like caramel? You can get it in candy, coating an otherwise healthy apple, on popcorn or ice cream, and in many desserts. Toffee is similar to caramel and should be on your watch list of sticky foods.

Even that every day staple, peanut butter, has the ability to stick to teeth. Continue to enjoy, but look for one that contains minimal sugar. Jelly and jam; syrup on your waffle; marshmallows in your hot chocolate; or what you thought was a healthy little box of raisins … by now you get the idea … sticky foods contain sugar, and sugar clinging to teeth is why sticky foods can harm your teeth.

Helpful Hints to Counteract Sticky Sugars

Does this mean you have to avoid these foods forever? No, but limit them and maybe make better choices like fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, reduced sugar yogurt, or cheese to name a few.

If you should enjoy a sticky treat, brush and floss as soon as possible. Since many sticky foods can get caught between teeth, flossing is important. If brushing or flossing is not realistic right after consuming these foods, rinse thoroughly with water and chew sugar free gum.

What time you eat sticky foods can play a role as well. Consumed with a meal allows saliva to help reduce what sticks to your teeth.

The final key to maintain great dental health involves a visit with your dentist every six months. The cleaning delivered by your dental professional removes all plaque that has formed since your previous appointment. If it’s time to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact our team at Aesthetic Dental Partners today.