During a routine visit to the dentist, you should expect to be asked, “do you brush and floss every day?” You may not expect to be told, or learn, that the foods you consume on a daily basis can have as much, if not a greater impact, on your chompers than your morning brushing routine.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide a concise, informative list of food items that, if integrated into a well-balanced diet, will boost your chances of a cavity-free appointment. We will also list a few foods that pose harm to teeth and should be reserved as rare indulgences.
5 Foods That Help Your Teeth
- Water: As basic as it sounds, water is a prime defense against tooth decay. Drinking more H2O not only helps to dislodge harmful food particles, but also, according to the Yale Medical Group, tap water containing fluoride (which is becoming increasingly common in communities) or fluoridated bottle water, have been shown to help prevent tooth decay. (source: Yale)
- Milk: Joy Bauer, nutrition expert and founder of the Joy Bauer Nutrition Centers, stresses the fortifying properties of milk on the teeth. The high percentage of calcium in milk, she says, “helps protect your teeth against periodontal (gum) disease and keeps your jaw bone strong and healthy.” (Source: Bauer)
- Vitamins C and D: Bauer also touts the importance of high vitamin-C and D intake each day, as vitamin D allows your body to absorb more calcium, and Vitamin C prevents inflammation of the gums and strengthens blood vessels. Good sources of vitamin D are salmon, tuna and flounder. For added Vitamin C, nibble on fruits such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, kiwis, melons and tomatoes or vegetables like broccoli, colorful bell peppers, brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens (think kale, spinach and swiss chard) and cauliflower. (Source: Bauer)
- Teas: Dr. John Moore, a practicing dentist in San Antonio, Texas, touts the helpful properties of green and black teas as they contain cavity-fighting polyphenols. According to Moore, these compounds fight bacteria in the mouth and prevent plaque production. (Source: Moore)
- Sugarless gum: Dental health may also be improved through the chewing of sugarless gum, Moore adds, as the gum has a scrubbing effect on teeth and accelerates the mouth’s saliva production. This, in turn, speeds up the removal of food particles. Xylitol, a common sweetener in sugarless gum, has also been shown to possess anti-bacterial properties in the mouth. (Source: Moore)
Continue to next page for 3 foods that hurt your teeth…