Ah, fast food. The greatest love-hate relationship of all time. We love it when we’re driving home after a long day, spot the glowing golden arches over the horizon, and treat ourselves to the large Big Mac Meal, side of chicken nuggets and Oreo McFlurry we’ve been craving all day. The hate usually creeps in the next time we step on the scales, or when we notice our teeth aren’t looking as fresh as they once did.
Here are some tips on which junk foods to avoid:
Meals on Buns
Cue sad music. I’m sorry to say that our tasty, carb-loaded friends are surprisingly high in sugar. Once buns and fries make their way to our mouths, the ingredients turn into a sticky starch that clings to our teeth. While that mightn’t sound too bad, our saliva turns the starch into simple sugars, which then creates an optimal environment where bad bacteria and harsh acids breed. This then leads to tooth decay, which is never a good thing. So just remember, the next time you’re chowing down on fast food, you’re also feeding an army of mouth bacteria who’ll cause more trouble than good.
We’ve all heard that soft drinks are high and sugar, but do you know how much are in your favourite drinks? One large Coca Cola contains a whopping 77g of sugar! Not only that, but due to the carbonisation process that occurs during production, fizzy and carbonated drinks have high carbon levels which wear away at teeth. Sadly, the same goes for sparkling water and other ‘healthy’ soft drinks.
*Credit to Dave Hax, check out his informative video on Coke vs Teeth!
Acidic Foods & Drinks
You may be thinking, "I eat the healthier options at fast food places, so none of this applies to me", but your teeth would disagree! Over time, people's eating habits and lifestyle choices have shifted to healthier alternatives, leading to fast food restaurants adjusting their menus to include nutritious options such as McDonald's salad and wrap range and offering drinks such as kombucha. While these are undoubtedly better for your waistline, your teeth are still at risk of eroding!
Acidic food & drinks like vinegar-based salad dressing and kombucha, can wreak havoc on our teeth. They weaken enamel and make our teeth more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. Kombucha alone has a low pH level of anywhere between 2.5-3.5, which is designed to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. As well meaning as that sounds, this incredibly acidic formula strips away the enamel of our teeth. Kombucha is also filled with high amounts of sugar to balance out the ‘vinegary’ taste. This contributes to the formation of plaque which feasts on weakened teeth enamel. While that might sound a bit off-putting, it’s okay to drink Kombucha in smaller amounts. Just remember to rinse your mouth with water after consumption, or better yet, brush your teeth.
Fear Not! There is hope.
As cliché as it sounds, consuming everything in moderation is the key to a healthy relationship with fast food. Even if fast food is your guilty pleasure, there are still ways to manage your oral health. Here are my top tips:
- Floss after every meal. I like to use our Flexible Dental Flosser Picks which come in a convenient travel case. It’s great to keep in your pocket or purse so you have one handy at all times.
- Brush your teeth. This may sound like an obvious one, but I still come across too many people who don’t brush their teeth at least twice a day. If you can brush your teeth after every meal, your teeth (and breath) will thank you. Make sure to use an Australian Dental Association (ADA) certified toothpaste like our White Glo Professional Choice.
- Use mouthwash. Mouthwash is the MVP when it comes to killing nasty mouth bacteria. If you want to whiten while you gargle, try out one of our many teeth whitening mouthwashes, like the Charcoal Bad Breath Eliminator
- Whiten stained teeth. If you’re suffering from stains on your teeth from your favourite fast foods, give your smile a whitening boost with our popular White Glo Accelerator Teeth Whitening Kit. This amazing kit whitens your teeth by up to 8 shades in just 7 days, backed by a 100% money back guarantee.
Good luck fellow fast food lovers!
White Glo Lead Teeth Whitening Technology Researcher
B. Dental Surgery/B. Medical Science