Dental Health Tips – Foods That Promote Dental Health & Foods to Avoid
Diet is an important factor to maintain good oral health and prevent cavities. Changes in the mouth begin to occur the second you consume certain foods. Oral bacteria converts sugars from foods into acids, and these acids begin the decay process by attacking the enamel on teeth. Certain foods exacerbate this process, while others contain vitamins and nutrients that actually strengthen the teeth and gums.
Foods to Avoid
High-sugar foods, like candy or soda, send oral bacteria on a feeding frenzy, producing acid and leading to decay.
Sticky, chewy foods stay on the teeth longer, leading to an increase in decay. Sticky particles from these foods, like gum, taffy or toffee, can stay on the teeth even after rinsing or brushing.
Acidic foods, like citrus fruits, wine or tomatoes, can increase acid levels in the mouth. Over time, this acid destroys tooth enamel. Rinsing with water can help eliminate acid left behind by these foods.
Foods that Promote Dental Health
Water cleanses the mouth, washes away food particles, deposits healthy minerals into weak teeth and keeps gums hydrated.
Dairy products, like yogurt and milk, are a great source of calcium, a nutrient that is essential for bone and tooth health. These foods are also low in acid and sugar, leading to less dental decay.
The high level of antioxidants in green tea prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth, reduce the likelihood of cavities, protect tooth enamel and can even reduce bad breath by reducing bacteria growth.
Crunchy, firm fruits and vegetables, like apples and broccoli, have a high water content that dilutes sugar in the mouth. They also stimulate saliva production, which washes away food particles and neutralizes acid.