We all know that a balanced and nutritious diet is essential to healthy living….but did you know that eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease too? – By Malorie, Treatment Coordinator
Foods That Can Damage Your Teeth:
- Ice: Chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel.
- Citrus: Frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel which makes teeth more susceptible to decay over time.
- Coffee: Caffeinated coffee and tea can dry out your mouth, and may also stain your teeth.
- Sticky Foods: Can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food.
- Crunchy Foods: Crunchy potato chips are filled with starch which tends to get trapped in your teeth.
- Soda: When you eat sugary foods or sip on sugary drinks bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel. Carbonated soft drinks are acidic, and are therefore bad for your teeth.
- Alcohol: Can cause dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time which can lead to tooth decay or other oral infections such as gum disease.
- Sports Drinks: They might sound healthy, but sugar is a top ingredient for many sports and energy drinks.
Foods That Can Benefit Your Teeth:
- Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds have high amounts of calcium which can help protect and rebuild tooth enamel.
- Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus, which works with calcium to help teeth strong.
- Fruits and vegetables are good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from teeth and helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth from decay
- Dark leafy greens, kiwis, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas all contain vitamin C which are important for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds.
- Sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and many dark greens are excellent sources of vitamin A, another key nutrient in building tooth enamel.
The Many Benefits of Water:
- Water, particularly fluoridated water, is the most tooth-friendly beverage.
- Many water supplies are fluoridated at the rate of 1ppm, a safe and effective way for reducing dental caries.
- The normal daily intake of fluoride from fluoridated water is about 1 mg per day.
- Always keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water. Saliva protects both hard and soft oral tissues.
- If you have a dry mouth, you can supplement your diet with sugarless candy or gum to stimulate saliva.
- Mineralization and tooth development require fluoride, making the tooth strong and decay resistant.
This post should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately licensed health care provider. Information provided here is for informational purposes only. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment.