We all know that regular brushing and flossing helps keep your teeth healthy, but did you know that there is a growing body of research finding that certain foods may be good for your teeth? Just like so-called “functional foods” may keep your heart healthy, others can promote oral health! Our team here at Stonebriar Family Dentistry in Frisco, TX has compiled a list of foods and beverages that are actually good for teeth. We’ll also round this post out with a list of foods that aren’t so good for your pearly whites!
Top food and drink picks that are healthy for your teeth:
Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are high in calcium and vitamin D, which can help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Even adding powdered milk to cooked dishes help those who don’t even like milk or cheese to get some of the calcium that your teeth and jawbones need for protection.
Cheese is full of calcium that can mix with plaque and stick to teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay. It can also help rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.
Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and raw vegetables that are crisp, such as apples, carrots, and celery, can help clean plaque from teeth and can even help freshen your breath!
The antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C, and other nutrients that you can get from fruits and vegetables help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.
Recent studies have found that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they have a chance to form plaque that can be damaging.
Folic acid promotes a healthy mouth and supports cell growth throughout the entire body. You can find this member of the B vitamin family in green leafy vegetables and brewers yeast.
Bad Foods for Teeth
Cavity-causing organisms feed on the sugar and foods such as soda, chocolate milk, and candies, and convert it to acid, which attacks tooth enamel and causes decay. These acidic foods and drinks can wear away your enamel and leave your teeth sensitive, cracked, or discolored. A diet that promotes good oral health is not just about the foods you eat or avoid, but also WHEN and HOW to eat them.
Foods that linger in your mouth for a while, such as hard candies, can damage teeth as they retain sugar in the mouth longer than other foods. Instead of snacking on sugary, carbohydrate-rich or acidic foods throughout the day, eat these foods only at meal times to minimize the amount of time teeth are exposed to acid. The body produces more saliva to help digest larger meals, which washes away more food and helps neutralize harmful acids before they can attack teeth. It is also always good to drink water after every meal to help wash away trapped food particles that can create plaque.
Now that you have some knowledge about what foods are good for your teeth you’ll be able to eat your way to dental wellness by making better food choices!