Unless you are a baby or aging adult who is unable to feed yourself, you are in charge of what you put in your mouth to eat. When it comes to food and drinks, the options are quite expansive for most Americans.
While we often choose food based on cravings and taste, it’s purpose of fueling our bodies should never be ignored. However, whether you are eating for a healthy body or simply following your taste buds, you should know that the foods and drinks you consume can also greatly impact your dental health. In fact, some of the foods that we consider “healthy” for our bodies, are not so beneficial for your teeth and gums.
At Alora Dentistry, we recognize the foods that are bad for your teeth as well as the foods that can boost your smile health. As your trusted family dentist in Napa Valley, we invite you to choose wisely when it comes to snacks and meal time.
Worst Foods For Your Teeth
There are certain foods that can be particularly harmful to your teeth. Here are some of the worst foods for your teeth:
- Sugary drinks: Sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar and acid, which can erode tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.
- Candy: Hard candy and sticky sweets like taffy and gummies can get stuck in your teeth and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
- Citrus fruits: While citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are healthy, they are also highly acidic, which can wear down tooth enamel over time.
- Starchy foods: Foods that are high in starch, such as chips, crackers, and bread, can get trapped in your teeth and feed bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages can dry out your mouth, which can lead to a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is important for washing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.
- Coffee and tea: While coffee and tea are both healthy beverages in moderation, they can stain your teeth over time. Additionally, adding sugar or cream to your coffee or tea can contribute to tooth decay.
Don’t worry; we aren’t asking that you avoid these food and drinks altogether. However, for the sake of your smile health, you’ll need to combat these eating habits with strong oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems.
Foods that Improve Your Dental Health
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for good dental health. Here are some of the best foods for your dental health:
Calcium-rich foods: Calcium is important for strengthening teeth and bones. Good sources of calcium include dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as leafy greens like kale and spinach.
An Apple a Day
Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery can help scrub away plaque and bacteria from teeth. They also stimulate saliva production, which can neutralize harmful acids in the mouth.
Water: Drinking water throughout the day can help wash away food particles and bacteria from teeth. It also helps to keep the mouth hydrated, which is important for producing saliva.
Let’s Have Tea
Green tea: Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which have been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in calcium and other minerals that are important for dental health. They also stimulate saliva production, which can help to neutralize harmful acids.
Don’t Forget the Meat
Lean protein: Lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and eggs are important for maintaining strong teeth and bones. They also contain phosphorus, which is essential for dental health.
At Alora Dentistry, we love helping patients maintain a healthy smile with their oral hygiene habits as well as their daily diet. Never dismiss the influence that your favorite drinks and foods can have on your smile’s appearance and its health.