When your baby teeth are replaced by their adult counterparts, those teeth are designed to last a lifetime — if you take proper care of them. Tooth decay remains the number one threat when it comes to your dental health and what you eat can have a major impact.
At Volterra Dental, we want our clients to enjoy strong healthy teeth that will serve them well throughout their lives. Even though we love seeing our patients from the Los Alamitos, California, area, we’d rather it weren’t for tooth decay.
To help increase your dental health and ward off tooth problems, here’s a look at the best, and worst, foods for your teeth.
The road to unhealthy teeth
To start, let’s review some of the foods that aren’t doing your teeth any favors. In today’s world of processed and sugary foods, the grocery store shelves are lined with foods that can damage your teeth, starting with:
Sugary candies of all kinds aren’t the best for your dental health, but sour candy rises above the rest thanks to high levels of acids that break down your enamel. And since these candies are designed to linger in your mouth, they can really wreak havoc.
White bread is full of starch, which your body breaks down into sugar. Now add this to the fact that bread can form a kind of paste over, and between, your teeth, and you can see why bread can be a dental no-no. Especially white bread, which has more starch than whole wheat or multigrain bread.
As you cast about for healthy snacks, you may want to keep those dried fruits off the list. Sure, they’re a fruit, but in its dried form, they become sticky weapons full of sugar that get in between your teeth.
Sipping cold sodas full of sugar causes your mouth to produce acids that can damage your enamel. We suggest water instead.
Alcohol not only causes your mouth to dry up, the sweetened alcohols are as bad, if not worse, than sugary sodas when it comes to your dental health.
Your best rule of thumb is to avoid sugary or acid-filled foods that can stick in your teeth or linger in your mouth.
Eating for dental health
Now that we’ve covered some of the main offenders when it comes to poor dental health, let’s take a look at some of the foods that will help bolster your teeth
Good cheese (not processed American cheese) raises the pH in your mouth, which helps fight off tooth decay. Not to mention, there’s plenty of calcium in cheese, which helps with bone strength.
Apples and celery
Yes, an apple a day really can keep the doctor away. This high-fiber fruit contains ample water and fiber, and it also promotes salivation in your mouth, which helps rinse out your teeth and gums. Not to mention, its texture does a great job of “cleaning” teeth and gums, which is also true of celery.
Almonds are a great and filling snack that’s low in sugar and high in protein and calcium, two great minerals that promote dental health.
There’s absolutely no downside to increasing your water intake when it comes to your health. Water keeps everything hydrated, allowing your body to function properly. And when it comes to your teeth, it does double duty by rinsing your mouth throughout the day and preventing bacteria from settling in and causing decay.
We have many more dos and don’ts when it comes to eating for great dental health, which we’re happy to share with during your regular cleaning or checkups. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please give us a call at (562) 501-3188.