You’ve heard the expression, “Your body is a temple.”
That being the case, your mouth is the grand entrance, and to keep the rest of your temple healthy, you need to be careful what you let in! The foods you eat can have an impact on your oral health and the health of your teeth. Wholesome, healthy foods can help protect your teeth against tooth decay and tooth sensitivity, while highly processed foods and foods that are high in sugar can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Let’s take a look at the foods that need to be on the guest list and which ones may be overstaying their welcome in your diet.
Good Foods for Your Teeth
Increasing the variety in your diet and eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help you feel better and lose any extra weight. The good news is that some of those healthy foods are recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a way to improve the health of your teeth.
Cheese and Dairy Products
Cheese and dairy products, like sugar-free yogurt and milk, contain lots of calcium and protein, which are both good for your teeth. Dairy products are also thought to increase the pH levels in the mouth, which makes it less acidic and reduces acid attacks on the enamel, according to the science news outlet, EurekAlert.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Certain dark green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach, and broccoli, contain lots of calcium, which is an essential mineral for your teeth. Chewing these vegetables stimulates the production of saliva, which bathes the teeth in essential nutrients and helps wash away food particles.
Crunchy and Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
To protect the health of your teeth, load up on crunchy and fibrous vegetables, including apples, celery, pears, and carrots. Raw fruits and vegetables require a lot of chewing, and they contain a lot of fiber and water, which helps clean your mouth. Celery is especially good for your teeth because the strings scrape up against your teeth like a toothbrush.
Tree nuts, like almonds, cashews, pecans, and hazelnuts, contain a lot of protein and are low in sugar. Adding a few nuts to your yogurt and stir fry vegetables can help give your teeth a health boost.
Bad Food Choices for Your Teeth
When it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth, there are foods you want to limit or avoid because they stick to your teeth and cause acid attacks that can weaken your enamel, leading to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
Hard candy, like suckers and jawbreakers, can be disastrous for your teeth. The high sugar content leads to extended acid attacks. These foods also stick to your teeth, which can lead to the formation of plaque and tartar.
Limit Sticky and Excessively Sweet Foods
Sticky and excessively sweet foods, like cakes, cookies, gumdrops and dried fruits should be limited. These foods are high in sugar and tend to stick to your teeth, which can make removing all the food particles and sugar difficult.
Foods that are High in Acid
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are great sources of vitamin C, but they are also highly acidic, which can lower the pH balance in your mouth and lead to a softening of the enamel.
Eating to Fight Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is caused by a variety of factors, including the thickness of your enamel. However, there are foods you can eat to help increase the strength of your enamel and potentially reduce the pain associated with tooth sensitivity.
Increase Your Dairy Intake
Milk, yogurt, and cheese have low acid levels and high levels of calcium, which may help increase the strength of your enamel while not aggravating the nerves in your teeth and gums.
Reduce Your Acid Intake
Acidic foods and beverages, like coffee, tea, oranges, and grapefruits, can lower the pH balance in your mouth. When your mouth is extremely acidic, it can weaken the enamel on your teeth and increase tooth sensitivity.
A Mouth Healthy Diet Starts with Your Dentist
If you have tooth sensitivity or suspect that you have cavities, tooth decay, or early gum disease, one of the best things you can do is visit your dentist for a checkup and teeth cleaning. Getting your teeth and gums examined and having your teeth professionally cleaned can find oral health problems before they cause extensive cavities and the need for expensive treatments. Your dentist can even recommend the best toothpaste and toothbrushes to help you maintain your oral health.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 747-3608.