Everything you eat and drink affects the health of your body and mind. Your teeth are no exemption. But how exactly does your diet impact your dental health? What foods should you consume more of for healthy teeth, and what habits do you need to watch? Continue reading to find out!
Does Your Diet Affect Your Teeth?
The short answer: Yes, what you eat and drink directly affects the health of your teeth and gums. Everything you ingest has to pass your teeth and gums, making them the first point of contact for vitamins, nutrients and bacteria.
Whilst most foods are harmless in moderation - particularly when combined with proper dental care, it's excessive consumption that may quickly send you to the dentist.
Tooth decay, which can manifest as cavities (tiny holes) in your teeth, is caused by plaque build-up in your mouth. Plaque forms when you eat a lot of sugar and don’t clean your teeth and gums well. Consequently, some foods contribute to the development of plaque and tooth decay more so than others.
The Best and Worst Foods to Eat For Your Teeth
The worst foods for your dental health
The bacteria in your mouth love starchy or sugary foods just as much as you do.
Even if you follow your dentist’s advice and brush your teeth twice a day, you may still struggle to keep your teeth healthy if you love sweet foods and sugary drinks.
Therefore, you should stay away from:
Sodas are a triple threat to your teeth: They contain acids that attack your tooth enamel, dry out your mouth and can discolour or stain your teeth.
The acid contained in sour candy can be tough on your teeth. To make things worse, they’re usually very chewy and stick to your teeth where they can speed up dental decay.
Dried fruits are both sticky and sweet. They quickly get stuck in your teeth leaving behind lots of sugar that feeds the bacteria attacking your teeth.
Alcohol dries out your mouth, and since you need saliva to keep your teeth healthy and wash away food particles, you’re wise to limit the amount of alcohol you consume.
The best foods to eat for healthy teeth
The difference between healthy teeth and frequent visits to the dentist has a lot to do with your diet. A diet rich in whole foods and grains promotes healthy teeth and gums.
A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, calcium-rich foods, and whole grains is beneficial for your physical and mental health - and a healthy smile.
Nutrients That Fuel Your Dental Health
Role in your dental diet
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Naturally Healthy?
1. Avoid most processed foods.
Processed foods hurt your teeth in every way. They contain tonnes of sugar, are made to be addictive and don’t contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to make your tooth enamel stronger and increase your salivary flow. So it’s best to limit your intake of processed foods as much as you can!
2. Limit your intake of added sugars.
Sugar comes in many shapes and forms. The one thing they have in common is that they all contribute to tooth decay. When you’re shopping for groceries, make sure to check ingredient lists for the following labels sugar can hide behind:
Corn syrup solids
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
High-fructose corn syrup
3. Eat some raw fruits and vegetables every day.
The best foods to eat for healthy teeth are found in nature. Crisp fruits and veggies, such as apples, carrots and celery, not only clean plaque off your teeth, they also freshen your breath and are high in the nutrients that are vital to your oral health.
4. Develop healthy eating patterns.
It isn’t just what you eat. It’s also when you do! Sugary foods speed up tooth decay, and since you probably don’t have a toothbrush ready to go after every piece of candy you eat, your best bet is to limit sugary treats to mealtimes!
5. Drink plenty of water.
After every snack, drinking lots of water will help wash away sugars and acids. Not only that, tap water often contains added fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.
6. Take good care of your teeth and gums.
Besides keeping up a good oral hygiene regimen, make sure to visit your dentist in regular intervals for a professional checkup and clean. In addition, eating a well-balanced diet can do wonders for your health and prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth loss.
It is never too late to start taking better care of your teeth. For permanent, new teeth that inspire your confidence, visit Next Smile™ All-on-4® online or ask your dentist for a referral to one of our clinics near you.