How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth
Your smile is one of your most important assets. It’s often the first thing people notice about you, so it’s no surprise that you want to take great care of it. Brushing alone can’t keep those pearly whites looking great. Your diet can play a big part in the health of your smile.
What you eat is almost as important as how often you brush and floss. Some foods can strengthen your smile, while others can sabotage all your hard work. Knowing which foods to choose and which to avoid can help make your smile brighter.
Proper oral care starts with a good diet. A healthy diet can help you get and keep strong, beautiful teeth. Here’s how your diet and the foods you eat can affect your teeth.
Good Foods For Healthy Teeth
Some foods are nature’s gift to your smile. They not only help keep your teeth cleaner when you eat them, but some of them can also help your smile from the inside out.
Crunchy Veggies and Fibrous Fruits
Crunchy, fiber-filled fruits and vegetables are powerhouses when it comes to getting a whiter, brighter smile.
Bite into a crunchy apple, some crisp celery, or snappy carrots when you’re feeling hungry. The crunchy surfaces of these types of fruit and veggies scrape other foods from the surface of your teeth. Most of these foods are high in vitamins A and C, which are great for keeping your gums healthy.
There’s a reason why you were always encouraged to drink your milk as a child. Dairy products not only promote the production of saliva in your mouth (which protects your teeth by neutralizing the effects of food on tooth enamel,) they also contain calcium.
Calcium helps strengthen your teeth and bones from the inside. If you don’t eat dairy, you can also get calcium from soy products, leafy green veggies, and almonds.
Black and Green Teas
What you drink is as important as what you eat. Black and green teas contain plaque-fighting tannins. Unfortunately, these tannins can also stain your teeth, so they’re a double-edged sword.
Drink your teas unsweetened and chase them with water to rinse out lingering tannins that might stain your pearly whites. Adding a splash of milk to tea can also reduce the chance of staining.
Although technically not a food, this snack is great for after meals. Chewing sugarless gum causes your mouth to secrete saliva, which contains enzymes that neutralize bacteria to help prevent cavities.
Be sure to avoid gums that aren’t sugarless. The prolonged contact of the sugar with your teeth can encourage cavities.
Avoid These For Healthy Teeth
You probably already know that some of these are bad for your teeth. Here’s why some foods just aren’t great for your smile.
Sticky, sugary candies and foods are bad for your teeth. Not only do they cling to the enamel on your teeth, promoting cavities and decay, but they also impact your saliva’s ability to neutralize bacteria.
If you do have a snack, eat it with a meal. More saliva is produced when you eat a full meal, so your teeth have a better chance against that pesky bacteria. Better yet, opt for a healthy sugar-free snack instead.
Foods that stick to your teeth in starchy clumps can linger there, increasing the chances of cavities forming. Potato chips, bread, and other starchy foods can also get stuck between your teeth, where brushing often misses. Make sure you floss regularly to catch these sticky culprits before they damage your teeth.
Carbonated soft drinks are often packed with sugar, which is bad enough. They also often contain acids that can damage your tooth enamel and even lead to stains on your teeth.
This one may surprise you, but fruit juices contain substantial amounts of sugar that can damage your teeth. If you do drink juice, rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth afterward.
It’s not just stains that you have to worry about when drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can dry your mouth out, limiting saliva production. A dry mouth can leave your mouth vulnerable to bacteria. Limit the impact of alcoholic drinks by sipping them through a straw and drinking water after drinking alcohol.
Let Carrie Muzny DDS Help You With Your Smile
There’s no one magic bullet when it comes to getting and keeping a great smile. What you eat is as important as how often you brush and floss, but sometimes, even the healthiest smiles can use a little help.
At Carrie Muzny and Associates, we have your needs and your comfort in mind. From cleanings to fillings, to whitening and veneers, we provide everything you need to get the smile you deserve. We cover several insurance providers, provide a variety of services, and have experience in many areas of dentistry.
Contact us today to discuss your options and learn more about how you can have the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.