The Best & Worst Foods For Your Teeth
You are taking great care of your teeth, brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, but did you know the foods you eat can affect the health of your teeth? Dr. Carol Jin, DDS of San Ramon, California advocates eating foods that build the teeth, and minimizing the damage of the bad foods by managing how and when you eat them.
Foods For Oral Health
- Fiber-rich Fruits & Vegetables
- Dairy Foods
- Fatty Fish
Grandma always told you to finish your vegetables and here is another reason to follow her advice. Crunchy vegetables get the saliva going in your mouth, which not only aids in digestion, but aids in preventing cavities and gum disease. Celery, in particular, because of its rough texture, also lightly scrubs the gums and teeth, reducing plaque and gingivitis. Milk, cheese, and kefir have long been recommended for healthy teeth. The calcium in dairy products builds strong teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. The casein in dairy products, especially cheese, strengthens and repairs tooth enamel. Wild-caught salmon and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is found to help reduce gum disease. These fish are also high in vitamin D which aids the body in absorbing calcium, and phosphorous which protects tooth enamel.
Foods To Avoid
- Acidic Foods
- Sticky Sweets
- White Bread
Lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and even orange juice are high in acid which will erode teeth enamel. All these fruits have some amazing health benefits, so rather than cut them out of your diet altogether, try these tips. Drink juice with a straw to minimize contact with the teeth. Rinse the mouth out with water, or water mixed with baking soda, immediately after consuming anything acidic. Do not brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking lemon juice. Pickles are another acidic food to be careful of. Candy such as caramels or taffy get stuck between the teeth and stay in the mouth for a long time, promoting tooth decay. Even dried fruit, which is often high in sugar content, is sticky to the teeth. If you must eat that sweet treat, be sure to brush and floss your teeth immediately after. Bread is also quite harmful to your teeth. This soft starchy food gets trapped between the teeth and is hard to remove. Once there, the bread’s enzymes convert to sugar creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Awareness Is Key
Being aware of what is going into your mouth and how it will affect your oral state is another step to healthy teeth and gums. Call Dr. Carol Jin today for an appointment to get started on a personalized plan to a healthier mouth.