Healthy teeth rely on great dental hygiene habits and expert treatment from your dentist. However, eating the right kinds of food can support their underlying strength for a brighter, healthier smile.
Here are some of the best foods to eat and those you may want to avoid.
The calcium and phosphates in cheese and other dairy are essential for strong enamel. They can help restore minerals lost by eating other foods and help rebuild enamel.
This beverage helps wash away leftover food and dilutes acids in the mouth. Drinking water with fluoride strengthens your teeth and prevents tooth decay.
Drinking green tea limits the growth of oral bacteria and can protect you against bad breath, gum disease and cavities.
They contain vitamin A which is essential for healthy enamel. Raw vegetables are abrasive and act like a natural toothbrush scraping plaque off teeth and freshening breath.
This crunchy vegetable gives your mouth a workout. Chewing on celery helps clean your teeth, massages your gums, and produces lots of bacteria-neutralizing saliva.
This vegetable contains calcium and vitamin C which is beneficial for keeping teeth and gums healthy. It also contains iron which forms a protective barrier on tooth enamel to keep your smile nice and bright.
Raw onion can help reduce unwanted bacteria in your mouth with its antibacterial properties.
For those who don’t eat dairy, leafy greens are a great source of calcium. They also contain folic acid which can reduce inflammation in the gums and make them more resilient to plaque and bacteria.
Sugar-free gums are sweetened by non-cavity-causing sweeteners such as sorbitol and aspartame. Chewing on these gums increases saliva which reduces plaque acid and tooth decay.
Fish contains vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium. Also, the omega 3’s in fish like salmon are linked to a lower risk of gum disease.
The natural sugars help neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. They are packed with vitamins that keep your gums healthy.
They contain malic acid, a natural teeth whitener. They can help keep your smile stain-free. Just be sure to floss after eating to remove those pesky seeds from your teeth.
Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which acts as a natural stain remover and also helps break up plaque.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory known to prevent gum disease by supporting healthy mouth tissue.
These mushrooms contain lentinan, a compound that inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.
Nuts are low in sugar and packed with calcium and phosphorus. The most beneficial are almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews which help fight bacteria that cause tooth decay. Seeds such as flax, chia, poppy, and sesame also contain calcium to protect dental health.
If you are what you eat, that’s even more true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and eat starchy or sugary foods, you’re not only feeding yourself. You’re also feeding the germs (bacteria) that can cause tooth decay and gum disease in your mouth. Plaque is a thin, invisible, sticky film of sticky bacteria and other materials. It covers all the surfaces of all your teeth. When sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, acids form. These acids can attack your teeth for 20 minutes or longer after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth. This leads to tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque also triggers an inflammatory response. This causes the breakdown of the gums, bone, and other supporting structures of your teeth.
You may want to avoid or limit the consumption of the following foods:
It can get stuck between your teeth and promote bacteria growth. Those crunchy kernels can crack your teeth or even cut your gums.
Besides being packed with sugar they can chip or crack your teeth if they are chewed.
These drinks are the leading source of added sugar among kids and teens. They are loaded with sugar. And most soft drinks have phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel.
The tannins in coffee stain your teeth. The caffeine reduces saliva production causing bad breath. It also erodes enamel due to its acidic nature.
Drinking alcohol causes dry mouth and dehydration. This reduction of saliva can cause serious issues over time like tooth decay and gum disease.
Since wine contains alcohol it will dry out your mouth. Red wine contains tannins that stain your teeth and erode enamel. But, white wine is even more acidic than red making your teeth even more susceptible to discoloration and staining.
No sucking on lemons. They contain lots of acids which damage your enamel when eaten alone.
Ice is just water so how can this be bad? It’s not unless you chew it! Chewing on ice causes micro-cracks in your enamel weakening the overall structure. This leads to problems like tooth sensitivity and leaves your mouth vulnerable to decay.
They are high in sugar and stick to your teeth longer than most other foods which can contribute to tooth decay.
The refined carbohydrates in these snacks break down into sugar causing great harm to your teeth and gums.
The ADA offers these tips to help reduce tooth-decay risk from the foods you eat:
Eat sugary foods with meals. Your mouth makes more saliva during meals. This helps to reduce the effect of acid production and to rinse pieces of food from the mouth.
Limit between-meal snacks. If you crave a snack, choose something nutritious. Think about chewing sugarless gum afterward to increase saliva flow and wash out food and acid.
Drink more water. Fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, check the label for the fluoride content.
Brush your teeth twice a day.
Floss once a day.