How What You Eat Can Impact Your Teeth

What you eat can have a massive impact on the overall health of your teeth. If you want to avoid needing huge amounts of dental treatment, here’s what to eat and what not to eat.

The good foods

Unsurprisingly, fruits and vegetables come out on top. This is because they’re packed with fiber, which helps to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy and keeps saliva flowing around the mouth to wash away any residue or particles. Fruits are high in sugar, but sticking to pieces of fruits rather than fruit juices helps, too. Chewing sugarless gum after eating is another great way to keep the mouth on producing lots of cleansing saliva.

Dairy products also help the mouth produce saliva, and contain calcium that helps strengthen tooth enamel and replace minerals lost due to eating other foods. 

The green and black varieties of tea, on the other hand, contain chemicals that fight plaque bacteria, preventing acid from forming and attacking the teeth. You should also try to eat and drink foods with lots of fluoride – fluoridated water and products that have been fortified such as cereals.

The bad foods

Sugar and sweets are, of course, at the top of the ‘bad for your teeth’ food list. If you have a sweet tooth and simply have to indulge it, go for something that doesn’t stick around in your mouth, literally – no sticky toffees, caramels, or sweets that you have to suck on for a long time. Chocolate washes away from teeth a lot faster, and is a better option especially if you can go for high-cacao, low-sugar choice. Avoid fizzy soft drinks at all costs! They aren’t only packed with sugar, they also contain acids that wear away the teeth.

Other foods that are high in sugar and can get stuck in your teeth should also be kept to a minimum, like bread and potato chips. These have high starch content which is broken down into sugars. They can also get trapped in your teeth and sit there. You may not think chips are a sugary treat, but if they stay get stuck in your teeth, the starch breaks down and becomes glucose.

There are also some foods that dry out the mouth, reduce saliva, and prevent food and sugars from being washed away from the teeth. Alcohol is a primary offender here, as well as some medicines. Try to avoid medicines that do this, or if you can’t, speak to your dentist about a fluoride rinse.

Other ways you can help

As well as choosing the right foods, there are a few other things you can do to keep your mouth and teeth in tip-top condition. If you do want to eat sugary foods, try to keep them to mealtimes. When you’re eating a meal, your mouth produces more saliva, which helps reduce the effects of acid and helps rinse sugar and pieces of food from your mouth. Try not to snack between meals, or if you must, choose something healthy and low in sugar.

Drinking water also helps, especially fluoridated water, as well as standard dental care like brushing twice a day and flossing once.

Check out Atlanta dentistry in Marietta for more information and advice.

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