6 Positive dietary habits for healthier teeth
Maintaining a strong brushing routine is obviously important, but did you know your diet often plays a key part in keeping teeth healthy?
In an interview with Dr. Chad Gehani, the president of the American Dental Association (ADA), he says dental health is "vital to overall health."
You wouldn’t work out at the gym for hours on end just to undo all your hard work by eating a large pizza by yourself, right? Well, the same thing applies to your teeth.
Here’s six ways you can improve your oral health through your diet.
1. Water is King
If you really want to do your body and mouth a favor, swap your daily soda and juice for water.
Your average soda and fruit juice contain sugar and acid that can cause serious harm to your teeth, such as gum disease.
Sugar can start causing problems when it reacts with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produces harmful acids. These acids can keep building for up to an hour if not washed away.
Drinking water during and between meals helps wash food debris, acid, and bacteria off your teeth, thus removing sugar before it has a chance to cause damage.
Water also reduces dry mouth and keeps your breath fresh. Likewise, by drinking moderately tempered water, you can prevent tooth sensitivity
2. Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks
Acidic food and drinks can cause dental erosion. A food or drink is considered to be acidic if it has a pH number below 7.
If the number is lower than 5.5, you can expect it to cause dental erosion. Most fruits (i.e. oranges and grapefruit) are acidic.
The acid from acidic foods and drinks can erode the enamel, exposing the dentin underneath. This can contribute to tooth sensitivity.
If you do eat fruit as a snack, try to eat something alkaline such as cheese afterwards to balance the acidity levels in your mouth.
3. Say Cheese
Who said this list couldn’t have some good news? Alkaline is great for your oral health and found in many dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt.
Unprocessed and low-sugar yogurt and cheese choices are even better for your teeth health and great alternatives to regular acidic foods and drinks.
The protein and calcium found in dairy strengthen your teeth by demineralizing and rebuilding enamel that’s been compromised by acids and sugars.
4. In the Mood for Some Crunch?
We’ve all heard it, “an apple a day.” Apples and almonds are two of the best crunchy foods for your teeth. They stimulate saliva production in the mouth.
The extra crunch is a natural way to wash bacteria and stray food particles out of your mouth.
It’s also a great way to combat dry mouth which can affect your sense of taste and cause bad breath.
5. Go on Green
Green vegetables and even green tea are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants that inhibit dangerous inflammation such in the gums and support the production of red blood cells.
Eating foods with an abundance of minerals and vitamins can help to prevent gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and cause bad breath.
Stock up on spinach, kale, and green tea to improve your gum health and reap the benefits of a healthy smile.
6. Avoid Sticky Food
This one is pretty straight forward. Sticky foods have a habit of clinging to your teeth with stronger chances for decay.
Toffee, gummy candy, fruit snacks, even dried fruit can be problematic for smiles. Sometimes even brushing doesn’t always remove all of the particles.
Sticky foods can contribute plaque build up, cavities, and tooth decay resulting in thousands of dollars worth of dental cost.
But don’t fret! This is only damaging to your teeth if you eat an unusually large amount. In most cases, aim to moderate your consumption.
More important than anything, make sure to consume a healthy, balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and low dairy products and, of course, drink plenty of water.
By choosing tooth-friendly foods, you can maintain a bright smile and make your brushing routine more powerful.