Eating For Healthier Teeth

We all know that good dental hygiene is vital to look after your teeth. However, your diet can also play a huge role in your oral care routine and can actually be the deciding factor for how often you visit the dentist. The more sugar you have in your diet, the more susceptible you are to tooth decay. This is because plaque-causing bacteria can live off the sugar you eat. The bacteria breaks down the sugar into acid, which dissolves the structure of your teeth, giving you painful cavities.

Top 10 Foods You Should Eat

Eating certain kinds of foods can help reduce the risk of damage to your teeth. If you’re looking to eat better for your teeth, make sure you include these things in your diet.

Water

While water technically isn’t a food, it plays a huge part in keeping your teeth clean. Water assists in saliva production and helps wash away any food particles that may get lodged in between the gaps of your teeth. It is also an added bonus if your water is fluoridated. This is because fluoride makes teeth stronger and resistant to acid attacks, which in turn helps prevent cavities.

Dairy

Any form of dairy, including cheese, milk and yoghurt, are great for your teeth. This is due to the fact that dairy is low in sugar and high in calcium, which is a fundamental building block for healthy and strong bones. The calcium content in dairy products can really help keep your tooth enamel strong.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and lettuce, have several health benefits and one of them is promoting healthy and strong teeth. These superfoods come packed with loads of calcium, folic acid and several other vitamins and minerals which stimulate healthy gums and teeth growth. Eating a lot of crunchy greens, either in salads or sandwiches or just by themselves, can help a lot for even cleaning your teeth.

Apples & Pears

Fruits rich in fibre, such as apples and pears, are amazing at cleaning your teeth and increasing the production of saliva in your mouth. Fibrous foods also help stimulate your gums and neutralise malic and citric acids, which cause tooth decay. Eating fresh fruit is always preferred rather than drinking juices, since these are often laced with high levels of sugar and preservatives which can degrade the quality of your teeth.

Nuts

Calcium and phosphorus are two important elements found in nuts like cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts. Peanuts are great for increasing calcium and vitamin D, while walnuts come packed with several minerals like fibre, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc. In addition to this, chewing on nuts is another great way to increase saliva production.

Meat, Fatty Fish or Tofu

As we know by now, chewing stimulates saliva production, which is great for washing away acidity in the mouth. Meat requires a lot of chewing, which makes it great for this purpose. Food items, like fatty fish and tofu are rich in phosphorus as well as being chewy, which works well to protect your tooth enamel.

Cranberries

In addition to being good antioxidants, cranberries are highly rich in polyphenols, which help disrupt plaque formation in teeth. As with other fruit, stick to fresh cranberries to reap the full benefit without consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar that come with the dried varieties.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another amazing superfood that your teeth will love. Loaded with vitamin A, sweet potatoes help in preserving the soft tissue of your gums. Vitamin A also plays a huge part in maintaining keratin, which is a protein that strongly aids in the formation of strong tooth enamel.

Garlic

It may be shocking, but despite its strong odour, garlic has very strong anti-microbial properties that stem from their allicin content. This plays a big part in protecting against tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Kiwi Fruits

Being a great source of vitamin C, kiwi fruits do wonders to boost the overall immunity of your body. This in turn helps improve the body’s resistance against any and all infections, including tooth decay and gum disease.

Top 5 Foods To Avoid

While there are many foods that help promote healthy teeth, there are some problem foods out there that you need to watch out for. These include:

Candy

Something you always hear from your dentist is to stay away from lollies and candy as much as possible. They have a point because these products contain a very high level of refined sugar, which can really rot your teeth. The sticky varieties, such as caramel, toffees, hard candy, lollipops and chewy jelly beans, are especially bad since they can take ages to get off your teeth.

Potato Chips

Much like candy, potato chips have the tendency to get stuck between the nooks and crannies of your teeth. This can make it a place for bacteria to grow and feed, ultimately paving the way towards tooth decay and more visits to your dentist.

Soft Drinks

Wherever possible, try to avoid consuming soft drinks and your teeth will thank you for it. This is because soft drinks contain deeply concentrated levels of sugar that can be harmful not just to your body but to your teeth as well. The phosphoric and citric acids present in the drinks really do a number on your teeth, wearing away the tooth enamel over time.

Pickles

Try to avoid consuming large quantities of pickled foods including pickles, gherkins, pickled onions, peppers and apple cider vinegar as well. This is because a lot of vinegar is used for the pickling process. This high concentration of vinegar can be harmful due to the acid content and sugar levels, which can damage tooth enamel. 

Wine

We all enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but too much of the drink can seriously damage your pearly whites. The tannins content in wine can dry out your mouth over time and badly discolour and stain your teeth. In addition to this, tannins are a form of acid that is erosive in nature, meaning that there is the potential to soften enamel and damage it.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits like raisins, sultanas and many others taste really nice but can be really bad for your teeth. These are usually processed items that have a high concentration. They are also incredibly sticky and can be a real nightmare to scrape off your teeth.

The Bottom Line

By altering your diet and including more healthy options, you are doing your entire body a favour. What you put in reflects on all parts of your body, and that includes your teeth. So cut back on the refined sweets, dig into the fruit and greens, and watch how bright and healthy your smile gets!

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