Most people are aware of foods and drinks that damage the teeth like candy, cookies, cakes, potato chips, soda, coffee, fruit juices, and energy drinks. However, there are foods and drinks that benefit the teeth by keeping the enamel strong. Some foods even naturally whiten the teeth. Incorporating a balanced and nutritious diet into one’s daily oral care regimen is an essential preventative care method that can help keep the teeth healthy for a lifetime.
Sugar is a huge contributing factor to tooth decay, which could eventually lead to gum disease and tooth loss if left untreated. When the sugar left behind from foods comes in contact with plaque on the teeth, an acid develops that starts attacking the enamel. Therefore, if individuals are consuming pastries, sodas, fruit juices, and candy on a daily basis, the teeth are constantly being attacked and start to decay over time.
First and foremost, individuals should swap the soda, fruit juices, energy drinks, and coffee, for more water. Water should be consumed constantly throughout the day, especially fluoridated water. Fluoridated water keeps the enamel strong, which prevents cavities from developing. Water is also beneficial because it washes away excess food particles stuck between the teeth, as well as cavity-causing bacteria. Water also dilutes the acids in the mouth that are created by unwanted bacteria.
For a balanced and nutritious diet, everyone should consume foods from the five major food groups, which are: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy options. Calcium-rich foods should also be incorporated into one’s diet. Fortunately, many foods in the major five food groups contain lots of calcium, such as dark leafy vegetables, almonds, canned salmon, fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese. All of these foods strengthen the teeth, making them less susceptible to decay over time.
Snacking should be avoided if possible, but if not, healthy snacks should be consumed. Because snacking throughout the day produces less saliva, more bacteria and food are likely to get left behind, which means acid has a better opportunity to attack the teeth. Eating full meals produces more saliva, which helps push the food to the back of the throat, leaving less behind to damage the teeth. Healthy snacks would include raw fruits and vegetables, a piece of cheese, or popcorn. These options are better than chips, pastries, and candy because they have more nutritional value and less sugar.
At McBride Dental, keeping our patients’ teeth and gums in the best shape possible is our number one priority. To do this, we offer various preventative care services, such as dental examinations and deep cleanings, to make sure no complications are present. If they are, we offer numerous treatment options depending on each patient’s needs. Some options include gum disease treatment, dental implants, and cosmetic dentistry. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment, call (760) 471-1003.