Since our teeth are the first to interact with the foods we eat, we can’t ignore them when we think about our diets.
Just like the rest of the body, different foods are better for your teeth and gums than others. Some foods contain minerals that help to strengthen teeth, others promote production of saliva to wash away bacteria and plaque buildup, and still others can help to remove food particles that get stuck on or between teeth just through the act of eating them.
Here are just 5 examples of fortifying foods for your teeth:
Water. Depending on where you live, water can be fluoridated, meaning it is treated with fluoride for the purpose of strengthening teeth. Drinking water also helps to wash away bacteria and food particles that stick on or between teeth.
Citrus. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons strengthen gums through their high concentration of vitamin C. Back in the days of sailing ships, crews used to eat vitamin C rich foods like limes and sauerkraut in order to prevent scurvy—two of the main symptoms of which are gum disease and the loss of teeth.
Sugar-free gum. As long as it doesn’t contain sugar or acidic flavor additives, chewing gum encourages saliva production and the act of chewing helps to rub plaque buildup off of the surfaces of teeth.
Dairy. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and plain yogurt contain lots of calcium and minerals which help to strengthen teeth.
Black and green tea. Both contain polyphenols, which are believed to help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth, lowering the risk cavities.
When you think about foods that are good for your teeth, also remember that many foods are very bad for them. Think about the opposite of the foods listed above: junk foods, sticky or sugary foods, and acidic foods can be very harmful to teeth in different ways, mainly by attracting bacteria and acids, which cause tooth decay.
If you have any questions regarding your diet and how it relates to your dental or overall oral health, contact one of the dentists at Little Rock Family Dental Care either online or by calling (501) 954-9900.