Some of the foods and beverages you consume each day may be working against your oral health, and you may not even realize it. The skilled providers at Trident Dental in Houston, Texas, are dedicated to helping you have healthy teeth and gums. The Trident team has put together the following list of the 10 best and worst foods for your oral health.
Six of the best foods and beverages for your teeth
1. Celery and other crunchy veggies
Celery and other crunchy, raw vegetables are dream foods for good oral health. All that chewing produces more saliva to help swish food particles away from your teeth and gums to keep them healthy.
Celery is particularly beneficial to your teeth because of its rough texture. It lightly cleans the surface of your teeth while you chew. Carrots, cucumbers, and raw broccoli also do the trick.
2. Milk and cheese
You’ve always heard dairy foods rich in calcium are good for strong teeth and bones, but they’re also beneficial to your oral health. They have a low sugar content, so they don’t promote tooth decay. And dairy foods contain casein, a protein that helps strengthen and repair tooth enamel.
Packed with minerals and protein, nuts are low in carbohydrates, so they don’t promote tooth decay. Like crunchy veggies, all that chewing stimulates saliva production, which acts as a natural mouthwash.
4. Green and black teas
Tea contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are substances that destroy bacteria, which can help reduce plaque buildup. As an added bonus, if you brew your tea with water that contains fluoride, you’ll get that benefit as well.
5. Fatty fish
Fish, such as wild-caught salmon and sardines, are full of vitamin D, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential ingredients for a healthy mouth. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium for stronger teeth, and phosphorus helps protect tooth enamel. Omega-3 fatty acids lower your chances of getting gum disease.
6. Chia seeds
You may have heard these little seeds are beneficial to your digestive health, but did you know they contain vitamins and minerals that are also good for your teeth? Chia seeds have calcium, vitamin A, fiber, and phosphorus — all excellent promoters of good oral health.
Four of the worst foods and beverages for your teeth
1. Sticky candy and dried fruit
Sugar-laden candy is an obvious tooth decay culprit, but the chewier it is — think sour gummy candies — the worse it is for tooth enamel. The sugar promotes decay, the gummy food particles stick to the crevices between your teeth, and the acids are tough on your enamel.
And while dried fruits may appear to be healthy because they’re fruit, dried fruits can stick to your teeth and leave behind lots of sugar. When you crave something sweet, eat an apple instead.
2. Citrus fruits
While citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which is a good thing, they’re highly acidic. Fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, can erode tooth enamel. Think twice the next time you squeeze a lime or lemon into your water.
Consume citrus fruits in moderation and rinse your mouth with plain water afterward. And don’t chew the ice from your drink, as it can chip a tooth, loosen dental work, and damage enamel.
3. Carbohydrates and starches
Not only is white bread bad for your diet, it’s not good for your teeth, either. Breads, potato chips, and other starchy foods turn into sugar when they combine with your saliva. This can create a gummy paste that sticks to the crevices between your teeth and can lead to cavities.
4. Carbonated sodas
Soda is acidic. As it coats your teeth, it enables plaque to produce even more acid to attack tooth enamel. Instead of drinking soda, drink water, which is highly beneficial to your teeth. If you do have an occasion to drink soda, rinse your mouth with water.
Do you feel like you need to make some dietary changes to improve your oral health? We can help you get started with changes that can promote optimal oral health for a lifetime. For all of your oral healthcare needs, call Trident Dental at 281-975-4942, or request an appointment online.