Your diet – what you eat and how often you eat – are important factors in preventing cavities and maintaining good oral health. Changes begin the moment you consume certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert carbohydrates and sugar from the foods you eat into acids. These acids attack the enamel on teeth, kicking off the decaying process. Too many carbohydrates derived from sugars (such as candies, cookies, and cake) and savory foods and starches (such as potato chips and pretzels) can lead to tooth decay. The more frequently you eat and snack, the more frequently you expose your teeth to the decay cycle.
Saliva production washes away food particles that bacteria would otherwise feast on if you wait between meals. Frequent supplies the bacteria with constant fuel. This can be avoided by brushing immediately afterward. However, most of us don’t brush after each snack.
Try to limit your snacking to no more than one or two per day. If possible, brush your teeth after each snack. Also, frequent drinking of water can help with the process. The water will help with washing away the food particles and bacteria. However, it is not good to frequently sip on things such as coffee, tea, soda, and other drinks that could contain sugars.
Healthy Foods for Your Teeth
Cheeses (especially aged cheeses like Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar, and meats such as chicken and nuts are the best foods for your mouth’s health. These foods contain phosphorus and calcium, which are required to remineralize teeth. These foods are also thought to protect tooth enamel. If you’re lactose intolerant and can’t consume milk products, green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also high in calcium.
Firm/crunchy fruits and vegetables are also options (for example, cucumbers, melons, celery, pears, and apples.). These foods have high water content. Water dilutes the effects of sugars found in them and stimulates saliva flow. To reduce the acidity of acidic foods such as lemons, tomatoes, fruits, and other citrus fruits should be consumed as part of a larger meal.
Diet and Dental Health
What you eat has an impact on how healthy your mouth is. Eating various nutrient-dense foods from all food groups can help promote oral health. So, what should you eat exactly? Let’s take a look:
leafy greens, almonds, canned salmon, fortified soy drinks, chees, yogurt, Low-fat or fat-free milk are all calcium-rich foods. Calcium-rich foods promote strong bones and teeth.
Phosphorus, found in beans, nuts, dairy, lean meat, fish, and eggs, also aids in the development of strong teeth.
Spinach, potatoes, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and help promote gum health.
Foods to Avoid
When attempting to maintain optimal oral health through diet, it is also critical to limit your intake of sweets and other foods that are doing more harm than good.
They are dried fruits, raisins, syrup, molasses, honey, caramel, granola bars, bananas, french fries, pretzels, potato chips, muffins, bread, pies, cakes, and cookies, mints, jellybeans, candies, lollipops, and more. You also need to avoid sugary drinks such as soda.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
You now know which foods to prioritize and which to avoid, but none of this matters if you haven’t established a good dental hygiene routine. Your oral hygiene routine should include the following items:
- Visiting your dentist twice a year for a thorough cleaning and examination
- Mouthwash usage
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
- Flossing at least once a day