Nearly 190 million people suffer from some sort of tooth decay every year. This statistic is alarming, and it is important to do what you can to prevent yourself from becoming a part of it.
Developing healthy eating and drinking habits is one of the best ways to keep your dental health in check. Read on to discover more about prioritizing your dental health with foods that are good for your teeth.
Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
One of the best parts of summer is snacking on yummy foods. However, some foods are better than others when it comes to your dental health. Here are six of the best foods for your teeth.
Eating crunchy vegetables is a great way to stimulate the gum tissues and wipe away plaque as you’re eating them. Firm foods that contain lots of water, such as veggies, work to stimulate saliva and scrub away bacteria.
Vegetables are also rich in many other vitamins, such as vitamin C, calcium, and keratin which are good for your teeth and overall health.
Fruits are some of the best foods for teeth around today. Eating fruit has the same saliva-inducing effect as vegetables, which is great for naturally cleaning your teeth.
When it comes to fruit, however, it is important to choose fruit that is low in acidity. Apples and pears are great, but some fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons can actually erode enamel due to their acid content. So, it is important to limit your intake when choosing to eat fruits that are acidic.
3. Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt
Dairy products such as low-fat cheese and milk can help to rebuild your tooth enamel. They also contain calcium and phosphates that provide your teeth with minerals they may have lost.
Consuming yogurt can also help to stabilize healthy oral flora levels due to its natural probiotics.
4. Green Tea
When it comes to the best drinks for teeth, green tea is at the top of the list. The antimicrobial agents in green tea can reduce or destroy the bad bacteria that causes gum disease. Green tea also has natural fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay.
Nuts and seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can contribute to the overall health of your gum tissues and prevent gum disease. Many types of nuts also contain calcium, which is great for your overall dental health. For more information on the vitamins your teeth and gums need, check out our recent blog post on the subject.
Make sure you choose nuts that are plain or lightly salted. Candied nuts can do more harm than good due to their high sugar content.
6. Lean Protein
Lean protein is not only good for your muscles but also for your teeth. Lean protein sources such as fish or eggs contain phosphorus, which is incredibly healthy for your teeth. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish specifically are great for preventing gum problems- just like nuts and seeds.
Foods to Watch Out For
Now that you know the foods you should eat, let’s talk about the foods that you may want to avoid. Everything is okay in moderation, but try not to consume these six foods in excess.
1. Sticky Candy
Candy in general is not great for your teeth due to the high sugar content, but sticky candy specifically is one of the worst foods for your dental health. Sticky candy not only coats your teeth in sugar but can also stick to your teeth, which over time can lead to major tooth decay.
2. Carbonated Soft Drinks
Carbonated soft drinks make for a refreshing summer treat, but they contain a lot of added sugar and citric acids that will wear away tooth enamel.
Instead of soft drinks with lots of sugar, opt for flavored sparkling water or iced green tea.
When you chew bread, your saliva starts to break down the starches into sugar, which can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. This is especially true for generic white bread, which contains a lot of added sugar. Try to opt for whole wheat or zero-sugar bread options at the grocery store.
Many people reach for their favorite cereal first thing in the morning. Cereal is a great treat, but most popular cereals are packed with extra sugar that will stick to your teeth. Try choosing a low-sugar cereal that will be less likely to cause tooth decay over time.
Ice may be refreshing in the summertime, but it is important to keep the ice inside of your drinks. Chewing on ice can damage your enamel and even chip your teeth. Sucking on ice is fine, but resist the urge to bite down on it.
6. Potato Chips
Potato chips are one of the most classic summer foods, but it is not so great for your teeth. Just like bread, the starch in potato chips becomes sugar and gets trapped between your teeth. Over time, this can turn into cavities.
Take Control of Your Dental Health Today
It is important to make sure you prioritize the dental health of both you and your family by choosing foods that are good for your teeth. Here at Children’s Dental and Orthodontics, we specialize in helping your child achieve optimal dental health through their diet and other habits.
If you are interested in our services, then feel free to check out our FAQ page or contact us for more information.