Troublesome Teeth? Which Foods to Avoid and Which to Indulge in When Practicing Good Dental Health
Nov 12, 2020 04:20 PM EST | By Staff Reporter
Suffering from toothache is one of the worst pains that one can endure. Each tooth contains nerves and blood vessels, making this area of the body incredibly sensitive to pain. For this reason, it is extremely important to maintain good oral care.
Practicing good dental health does not only encompass brushing and flossing, it also incurs eating well. There are several foods that you should avoid, as well as others you should indulge in, when it comes to taking good care of your teeth.
Even if you avoid these harmful foods and remember to regularly brush your teeth, you should always schedule a routine check-up with your local dentist. Our recommendation is to go at least twice a year. However, if you are already suffering from troublesome teeth, you can schedule an appointment with Cosmetic Dentistry Utah County.
Foods to Avoid
Tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in your body; however, it is not invincible, so here are some foods you should avoid, or at least cut down on when looking after your teeth. If you do eat some of the foods listed below, just make sure to have these in moderation and give your teeth a good brushing afterwards.
The first and perhaps most obvious contender is candy. Sugary sweets are a recipe for disaster when combined with the saliva and bacteria found in your mouth. If this sugar is left on your teeth it can cause plaque which consequently dissolves the enamel. Harming your tooth's enamel makes it more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
Sour sweets are just as bad as they contain acids that are even more harmful to your teeth.
That sticky consistency, that can also be found in caramel or taffy, will help food get stuck between your teeth, making it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene. Just make sure you brush your teeth and floss rigorously after eating any sugary treats.
Drinking a tall glass of orange juice in the morning may feel like a healthy decision. However, citruses, like oranges or lemons, contain high levels of acid which erode enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to damage. Just make sure to drink juice in moderation, as citruses contain high levels of sugar and acid. If you do have a glass of juice, make sure to rinse your mouth with a glass of water after doing so.
A bag of potato chips could in fact cause some serious damage to your pearly whites. This is a food that rarely gets brought up when talking about good dental hygiene. Just because food is salty, doesn't mean it can't damage your teeth. The issue with potato chips is that their crunchy texture often causes pieces to get wedged between your teeth. Furthermore, potatoes contain starch which eventually turns into sugar and causes plaque to build up. Bread is also a starchy product with refined carbohydrates that can harm your teeth.
In general, alcohol affects your body in a harmful way, however, it can also do some serious harm to your teeth. Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration and consequently a dry mouth. Without saliva, the mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Alcoholic drinks paired with sugary sodas are every dentist's worst nightmare. Don't chew your ice either, as this will chip away at the protective layer of enamel on your teeth.
Foods to Indulge In
It's not all doom and gloom as there are a ton of foods that will actively help your teeth grow stronger, shine brighter, and stay protected.
At the top of the list are dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, and yogurt. We can all recall our parents nagging us as children and telling us to finish our milk. Not only does milk fortify your bones but the same goes for your teeth. Dairy products are rich in calcium and can even help reduce the demineralization of your enamel.
Carrots are a healthy snack with a firm texture, making them ideal to chew on. Unlike sticky foods, carrots can act as a natural toothbrush and clean your teeth from plaque. Not only this, but carrots are low in sugar and high in vitamin A, fiber, and biotin. Celery also acts as a natural toothbrush due to its firm texture and can help improve gum health, as it is full of antioxidants.
Fish is a great protein to eat if you are looking to improve your dental health because it is full of calcium, omega 3s, and vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential since it helps your body absorb calcium, and omega 3 has been linked to reducing the risk of gum disease. To specifically improve your dental health, stick to fish like salmon, mackerel, or tuna.
Eggs are another excellent source of vitamin D and calcium. They are rich in phosphorus which helps the mineralization of your teeth. Go easy on the orange juice and toast for breakfast. Instead try to whip up a healthy omelet or some creamy scrambled eggs.
Garlic is typically something that you try to stay away from when worrying about your oral hygiene. Despite the smell, garlic is a great herb for your teeth as it contains high levels of allicin. Allicin the chemical compound that gives garlic its pungent odor, however, it is also renowned for its antioxidant properties. Garlic acts as a great antibacterial and has been linked to reducing tooth decay and gum disease.
Cranberries are a superfood that can benefit your health in more ways than one. In relation to dental health, cranberries are great because of their anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of phytonutrients. This makes it great for reducing gum disease and preventing tooth decay. Watch out for cranberry juices, as these could contain high levels of sugar and will not offer the same benefits. No matter what you eat, remember to brush and floss after every meal!