Summer is here and you may be hitting the gym to get your body in shape for the pool or the beach. While you are thinking about your fitness, you may want to think about how to get your teeth healthy! The type of foods you eat not only affect your waistline, but also impact your oral health. Let’s break down some of the foods that are especially beneficial and harmful for your mouth.
WHAT ARE SOME FOODS I SHOULD EAT?
1. Water: This liquid is a winner in our book! Especially, if there’s fluoride in the water. The additive to our drinking water can help prevent tooth decay. Multiple government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledge that fluoride is an effective way to improve the health of your teeth. Plus, it’s naturally present in ground water.
2. Cheese/Milk/Yogurt: The calcium and phosphates in dairy products can restore healthy minerals in your teeth that may have been lost. Cheese is especially beneficial. Researchers examined plaque in the mouths of 68 people ranging in age from 12 to 15 dental plaque before and after they consumed cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. They discovered cheese had the most anti-cavity properties of all of the dairy products in the test.
2. Beef/Poultry/Fish: Protein-rich foods can help strengthen your teeth because these foods contain phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential mineral that’s found in bones and teeth.
3. Fruits/Vegtables: These foods contain large quantities of water, fiber and other nutrients that improve your oral health. For example, dark green foods such as kale or collard greens are jam-packed with vitamins. But be careful on how much fruit you eat. Acids in fruit, especially citrus fruits such as orange or grapefruit, can damage your teeth if consumed in large amounts without rinsing your mouth afterward with water.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
1. Candy/Sugary Drinks: The artificial ingredients and sugar in candy and sugary drinks can do a number on your teeth. The sugar can get stuck in your teeth resulting in a build up of plaque which ultimately leads to tooth decay.
2. Wine: Research is mixed about the impact of wine on your teeth. Recently, researchers discovered that a compound called polyphenol can help prevent tooth decay by fending off harmful bacteria in your mouth. But wine can also damage your teeth. The acid in the beverage can erode the enamel. Also, alcohol dehydrates your body, which results in dry mouth. Saliva helps to prevent food from sticking and wash away particles.
3. Bread/Chips: The starch in these food items may contain a large amount of sugar. The sugar is a big source for bacteria to feed and can lead to tooth decay.
“Remember to brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes to help ensure your teeth are healthy,” said Dr. Mark Albritton of Advanced Smile Care. “Also, you may want to avoid super hot and cold foods if you recently had dental work performed because your teeth and the nerves under your teeth may be sensitive. Our team at Advanced Smile Care can always help point you in the right direction if you have questions about how your diet impacts your oral health.”