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Foods to Eat and Avoid for the Best Oral Health

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Foods to Eat and Avoid for the Best Oral Health

foods-to-eat-and-avoid-for-the-best-oral-health

If you want to be fit and lean out, you know that you should eat healthy. However, does eating healthy really matter when it comes to oral health? Here are some common foods you should look out for, and just how they could affect your smile. 

Dental Health and Diet 

What you eat plays a role in keeping your mouth healthy. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich foods from all food groups can help promote a healthy mouth. So, what exactly should you eat? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains that, in order to have healthy teeth and gums, you should add the following to your diet:  

  • Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified soy drinks, tofu, canned salmon, almonds, and dark leafy greens. Foods high in calcium help promote strong teeth and bones. 
  • Phosphorus, which is found in eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts, and beans also helps develop strong teeth. 
  • Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach help promote gum health.

Foods to Avoid

When trying to maintain optimal oral health through your diet, it’s equally important to also limit your intake of sweets and other foods that are doing more harm than good. The American Dental Association warns to limit your intake of these nine foods that could be damaging your teeth: 

Hard Candy and Sweets 

When trying to maintain optimal oral health through your diet, it’s equally important to also limit your intake of sweets and hard, sticky candies. Who doesn’t love candy, right? The problem is these sugar-filled sticky sweets can cause a tooth to chip or break, tooth decay, and more. If you don’t want to quit these fun snacks, try to opt for an alternative, like sugar-free gum, which has been shown to also have oral health benefits

Ice

Many people enjoy crunching on ice once they’ve finished their drinks, however, while it is only made up of water, the hardness of ice can leave your teeth vulnerable to breakage or damaging your enamel. If you chew ice, we recommend trying to break the habit to make sure your teeth stay in tip-top shape. 

Citrus

We discussed how citrus is good for your mouth because of it’s levels of vitamin C, however, these foods are very acidic, so enjoying them in moderation is a good idea. 

Coffee

Some of us need that cup of coffee to get us going in the morning, but it can be harming your dental health. Not only do most people not drink coffee plain and add a lot of sugar which isn’t good for us, but coffee drinkers can also experience dry mouth and stained teeth. 

Sticky Foods

Similar to hard candies, sticky foods like dried fruit can also be damaging to the teeth. They’re hard to chew, and they can also get stuck in between your teeth easier because of how sticky they are. If you eat dried fruit or other sticky foods often, be sure you’re drinking a lot of water and brushing your teeth well. 

Crunchy Foods

If you’re a person that loves potato chips and other crunchy snacks, you could be trapping a lot of excess food between your teeth. Potato chips are starchy, which means they can easily get trapped between your teeth. If you eat potato chips during the day, be sure you’re adequately flossing at night. 

Soda

A nice ice-cold cup of pop is fun to enjoy every now and then, but you shouldn’t be drinking these sugary drinks each day. Drinking soda can increase plaque bacteria on your teeth, and they’re also acidic. This means soda can dry out the mouth, cause an increased risk for cavities, and more. If you do drink a soft drink, be sure to drink plenty of water right after to help wash it away. 

Alcohol

Like caffeine, alcohol can cause a dry mouth and dehydration. If you drink excessively, your saliva production can be reduced. Not only does this cause tooth decay, but it can also cause oral infections like gum disease. 

Sports Drinks

These might be filled with electrolytes, but sugar is the main ingredient in many popular brands of sports drinks. Instead of sipping on a sports drink during your workout, opt for water instead.

Properly Caring for Your Teeth

Now you know what foods to focus on and what foods to limit, but none of that matters if you haven’t established a good dental hygiene routine. Your oral hygiene routine should include:

  • Flossing once a day
  • Brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time 
  • Using mouthwash
  • Visiting your dentist twice a year for a deep cleaning and exam

Call Mountain Aire Dentistry

If you need to freshen up with a deep teeth cleaning, call Mountain Aire Dentistry. Our team can help get your mouth sparkling clean. Additionally, we can also talk with you about a good dental hygiene routine and the best products for your mouth. Call us today to make an appointment: (303) 731-7755.