Food and Your Teeth - Holladay Family Dental
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Food and Your Teeth

Food and Your Teeth

Modern dentistry techniques have come along way on behalf of individual’s needing to improve one’s smile and appearance. However, prevention is by far a healthier and more cost effective option. Along with daily brushing and flossing, maintaining a proper diet by eating food good for teeth, ensures your smile lasts a lifetime. Many may not be aware of the relationship between consumed food and teeth.

Good Food for Teeth

  • <strong – According to the American Dental Association, the rich fiber content of fruits and vegetables help oral hygiene by having a cleansing effect on teeth, gums and other oral tissues. Additionally, these foods stimulate saliva production approximately 20 minutes after eaten. An abundance of saliva not only rinses the mouth, but also interferes with acids and enzymes from harming teeth. Interestingly enough, saliva contains minute amounts of calcium and phosphate. These are minerals needed to replace lost compounds.</strong
  • Dairy products – Cheese, milk, yogurt and similar diary products typically serve as great sources of calcium and phosphates, which help strength teeth. Cheeses in particular also stimulate saliva production.
  • Tea – Black and green teas contain compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols interfere with microbial production and kill the bacteria often associated with tooth decay. If the water you use to brew tea happens to contain fluoride, your teeth get added protection.
  • Fluoridated water – Whether using the water to make beverages, homemade or reconstituted soups or stews, your teeth get the benefit of fluoride protection along with the nutrients in the food. Some cereals, poultry, seafood and other prepared foods also contain varying amounts of fluoride.

Bad Food for Teeth

  • Candies and other sweets – Most people are aware that sweets are cavity causing foods. Sugary substances serve as a food source for the harmful bacteria, which is naturally found in the mouth. If you do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after enjoying candy, cake or soft drinks, the environment is ripe for bacteria growth and reproduction.
  • Starchy foods – Not many realize breads, potato chips and other starches are also cavity causing foods. After chewing, the soft foods become lodged in gums and teeth, creating another type of food source for bacteria.
  • Carbonated sodas – Along with the sugar or other sweeteners found in soda, the beverages also contain citric and phosphoric acids. When consumed habitually, the acid breaks down tooth enamel, which leaves teeth unprotected and vulnerable to decay.
  • Drying foods – The correlation between food and teeth are not the only considerations for good oral health. Alcoholic beverages and certain medications inhibit saliva production. In these instances, try to rinse your mouth throughout the day and use fluoridated mouth rinses and toothpastes for added protection.

Helpful Hints

Indulging in sweets periodically is normal. However, try to consume them immediately before or after meals to help minimize the potential harm caused by the abundance of sugar and acids.

When in the mood for a between meal snack, consider choosing good food for teeth, which offer nutritional benefits for your teeth. Chew sugarless gum afterward, as the gum also stimulates saliva production.

Brush your teeth once in the morning and once at night. Try to floss at least once daily.