It’s widely known that brushing, flossing, and regular trips to the dentist are important aspects of maintaining a healthy smile. What’s less often considered, however, is the way our diets affect the health of our teeth. That’s right: what you eat and drink–or avoid eating and drinking–can have a profound impact on your dental health. Want to ensure you’re doing all you can to maintain a glowing smile? Consider the following foods to eat for healthy teeth:
Strawberries. When you think about having a healthy, glowing smile, you probably don’t consider snacking on a bowl full of strawberries. Despite their bright red appearance, strawberries actually help remove tooth discoloration. That’s because a major component of strawberries, malic acid, is instrumental in removing pesky tooth stains.
Apples. As the old saying does, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what about the dentist? As it turns out, the crispness of apples provide a work-out of sorts for your gums, strengthening them as you chew. Additionally, eating apples increases your saliva production, which helps to neutralize the bacteria colonies that reside in your mouth– thereby reducing your risk of tooth decay.
Cheese. Cheese lovers, rejoice! You’re doing your mouth a favor when you indulge in your favorite snack. Cheese is full of calcium, which strengthens your teeth and gums. An added bonus for cheese fans: you don’t have to worry about tooth discoloration resulting from the extra time you spent sampling from that cheese tray; since cheese is basically colorless, surface stains are a non-issue.
Broccoli. Remember the days when your mother always pestered you to finish the broccoli on your dinner plate? As it turns out, there were a couple of good reasons for her insistence. When it comes to health food, broccoli is an all-star; it’s rich in vitamins and low in calories. But did you know that raw broccoli’s tiny florets also serve as miniature toothbrushes? While you chew, the florets go to work, gently scrubbing the surface of your teeth.
Nuts. When you’re feeling hungry for a midday snack, consider choosing something that will give your body a nutritional boost while also brightening your smile. Nuts, with their crunchy texture, help to remove plaque and stains from your teeth while you chew them. An added bonus: they’re loaded with protein and healthy fats, making them an excellent snack option for your body’s oral health and overall health.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
Now that you know the foods to stock up on to help maintain your healthy smile, are there any foods or drinks you should avoid? While most things are fine in moderation, let’s consider some foods and drinks that can be detrimental to your oral health:
Chewy candy. Chewy candy–think caramels and taffy–typically stick to your teeth for an extended period of time. Besides being uncomfortable, the sticky, sugary residue left behind on your teeth provides a feast for the bacteria in your mouth. The result is the breakdown of your enamel and, ultimately, potential tooth decay.
Citrus fruit. You might be surprised to learn that citrus fruits–and particularly lemons and grapefruit–are not friends of your teeth. Although they’re loaded with Vitamin C that’s good for your body, they’re also extremely acidic. Over time, that acid can erode your tooth enamel.
Coffee & soda. Not surprisingly, coffees, teas, and sodas are not healthy choices for your teeth. Not only do they stain your pearly whites, the caffeine can dry out your mouth. Additionally, sugar–which is present in soda and often added to coffee and tea–is used by plaque bacteria to produce acid that ultimately attacks your enamel.
For more information about ways you can maintain a healthy smile, contact us today!