What are the Best Foods for Teeth?
The foods that you eat have a large impact on the health of your teeth, making it more important than ever to choose the best food for your teeth. Between plaque creating film on your teeth and food particles left behind when you eat, there are a number of ways that simply consuming food can affect your teeth negatively and lead to oral health issues. Experiencing dental problems can often mean time spent in pain and money lost on restorative procedures to bring your smile back to a healthy state. One of the first steps you can take towards prevention is deciding on the best food for your teeth.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar or starches and choose the best food for oral hygiene instead. Candy can leave sugar behind, feeding bacteria that form in your mouth. Chewy candy and hard candy both have downsides. Chewy candies can easily get caught between your teeth, while hard candies linger in your mouth much longer until they dissolve – meaning they expose your teeth to sugars over an extended period of time. However, you can combat the effects of sugary and starchy foods that may get lodged between your teeth and gums by brushing your teeth and flossing after the meal you eat.
The best food for your teeth can be food that often requires a lot of chewing – like crunchy vegetables. This act of chewing your food actually promotes saliva production – helping to wash away food particles that could easily be left behind.
Best Food for Oral Hygiene: An Overview
Best Food for Teeth – What to Eat
- Crunchy fruit and vegetables – Broccoli, apples, pears and dried fruit are all examples of crunchy fruits and vegetables that are beneficial for your teeth because their coarse texture means that they help to remove particles from your mouth as you chew.
- Foods high in fiber – When you consume foods rich in fiber, such as grapes, apples and oranges, you promote the production of saliva, helping to wash away food particles and prevent dry mouth.
- Sugar-free gum – There are a variety of delicious flavors of sugar-free gum on the market. Choose this type of gum when you crave something sweet without the consequences of covering your teeth in sugar.
- Green or black tea – When researching the best food for teeth, studies have shown that green and black tea were both found to contain a beneficial ingredient called polyphenols, which inhibit the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque on teeth. Be sure to sweeten your tea with alternatives such as honey or sugar substitutes. The addition of sugar can interfere with the effectiveness of tea.
- Forms of protein – Phosphorous, which is found in protein, contributes to the health of your teeth and bones. To get a beneficial dose of phosphorous, try beans, nuts, lean chicken, eggs, leafy green vegetables and much more.
- Foods rich in calcium – Foods such as cheese, yogurt and milk contain calcium. Not only does calcium support healthy teeth and bones, but dairy products have also been shown to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
- Water – You can never go wrong with a glass of water! Water helps to produce saliva, washes away food particles and bacteria, and hydrates you, all while avoiding the slow erosion of your tooth enamel.
What to Avoid
- Sugary foods – Candy and any other desserts that contain sugars have the potential to feed bacteria in your mouth, eventually causing tooth decay.
- Foods containing starch – Starchy foods tend to cling to the teeth and settle in areas around your gums. These include foods such as bread, pasta and rice.
- Sodas – In addition to the sugars that they can leave behind, over time, the acids in soda can wear away your tooth enamel.
- Acidic foods – Although you may consider citrus fruit an option for the best food for your oral hygiene, the fruit can also have a slightly harsh effect on your teeth over time. Like sodas, acidic foods can strip the teeth of enamel.
When selecting the best food for oral hygiene, it is important to also avoid foods that linger in your mouth. Whether it’s a chewy piece of caramel or a fresh slice of bread, these foods can become lodged in between your teeth. If not properly removed, these foods can eventually begin to feed bacteria in your mouth and cause tooth decay.
In order to avoid oral health problems, explore your options when it comes to choosing the best food for your teeth. In addition to selecting healthy foods for your teeth, it is imperative that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to combat tooth decay. If you find that you are unable to completely give up some of your favorite beverages, such as sodas, try only drinking soda when you are having a meal. Consuming other foods while you drink soda will help to prevent your teeth from being completely exposed to all the acids that the beverage contains.
Want to improve your oral health or learn more about general dentistry? Start with an initial consultation at Stonewalk Family Dentistry. Contact us at (770) 777-1911 or online for more information about our Alpharetta-area office servicing Milton, Georgia, and the surrounding areas.
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