Daily brushing and flossing is the foundation for a healthy mouth. But can all your hard work be undone with some bad food choices? Unfortunately the foods we eat can unravel the effort we put in to keeping our teeth healthy; especially if our choices come laden with hidden sugars.
How Do Cavities Form?
Bacteria on our teeth feed off sugars in our food – releasing acid that erodes tooth enamel. Every time you eat something sugary your teeth are under an acid attack for up to one hour. And the more frequently you include high sugar foods in your diet, the more frequently your teeth come under attack from acids that destroy enamel and cause dental decay to form. Limiting the amount and frequency your teeth are exposed to sugar will reduce your risk of dental decay.
Foods That Promote Healthy Teeth
So now that you know to avoid and reduce your sugar consumption – what foods should you reach-for to keep your body and mouth healthy? Family Dentists at Metro Dental in Harvest Hills encourage patients to load up on the following foods and drinks that will not only help keep teeth happy, but also contribute to a person’s overall vitality.
- Crunchy Vegetables.Crunchy vegetables not only satisfy hunger as they provide the stomach with some substance to digest – they also act as a natural cleanser of teeth. Biting in to a carrot, piece of cucumber or celery helps remove food particles that are stuck between teeth. Crunchy vegetables require a lot of chewing which also disturbs bacteria living on tooth surfaces – helping to remove germs and wash them away.
- Cheese. For those who are fortunate enough to tolerate dairy products the inclusion of cheese as a snack can help neutralize plaque acids that erode tooth enamel. Cheese is considered to be a ‘sialogogue’ – a substance that naturally increases saliva production. Saliva is needed to help rinse germs off tooth surfaces and keep create a healthy ph. state.
- Hard Fruits. Just like the crunchy vegetables aid in cleansing tooth surfaces, so do hard fruits like apples. If you’re craving a sweet treat your best bet is to reach for a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar – as the sugar in fruit is fructose, which is gentler on tooth enamel than sucrose found in candies.
- Water. Water is essential to life and should be our primary source of hydration. Not only does it keep our brains functioning, aids in digestion, and carry nutrients to every cell in the body – water also keeps our mouths moist and our teeth clean. Dehydration isn’t good for the body, and can cause bacteria in the mouth to multiply and teeth to become more vulnerable to acids.