Your diet is one of the most important factors when it comes to your overall health. You’ve heard this before, and it probably makes you think of your heart, your weight, and maybe even your skin. Of course, it can also do a lot of good (or bad) for your teeth. By enjoying and avoiding a few key foods and drinks, you can easily make your smile look and feel better. Today, your dentist in Westport, Dr. Masha Kogan, is going to cover the top 5 do’s and don’ts of dietary dental health.
What You Can Enjoy Everyday
- Water: When it comes to drinks, water is the best way to stay hydrated that doesn’t expose you to sugar like sodas and juices. It also gives your teeth and gums a nice rinse, removing excess sugar and food particles. This is a great substitute if you don’t have time to brush throughout the day.
- Dairy Products: Foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium and phosphorus which can help strengthen your enamel. The minerals naturally stick to your teeth when you eat them, restoring what plaque takes away, and this directly fights cavities. They also stimulate saliva production, which is an important way your mouth helps fight naturally occurring bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
- Fibrous Vegetables/Fruits: In addition to being healthy for your body in general, fibrous vegetables/fruits are good for your teeth because they practically scrub them while you eat. Foods like celery and apples are quite fibrous, so they usually require more chewing, and this allows their texture to rub up against your teeth and remove plaque.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are full of anti-oxidants and vitamin C, which contribute to the overall health of your mouth. They also have something called malic acid, and it helps whiten your teeth while also breaking down plaque and tartar. A few strawberries a day for a healthy snack is a great way to keep your teeth feeling and looking their best.
- Nuts: Different kinds of nuts have different benefits, but they are all good for your teeth. Peanuts are rich in calcium and provide vitamin D, while cashews stimulate saliva production, which helps keep your teeth clean of bacteria.
What You Should Avoid
- Candy and Sweets: This is the most obvious one to avoid, right? Sweet treats can expose you to sugar that can cause tooth decay, as well as be sticky and difficult to brush off.
- Starchy Carbohydrates: This includes chips, pasta, bread, and crackers. While they may not taste sweet, they still leave a lot of sugar on your teeth that can lead to cavities.
- Soft Drinks: Sodas of all varieties (even diet) are absolutely packed with sugar. They can also be quite acidic and wear down your enamel, making you even more vulnerable to tooth decay.
- Acidic Foods: Fruits such as lemons and oranges have a high acid content, which (much like sodas) can wear down your teeth.
- Dried Fruits and Juices: These might seem like healthy choices, but they actually contain a very high amount of sugar, and have the same effect on your teeth as candy.
Before you throw out all of your sweets, the real key is moderation. You don’t have to eat only healthy foods, but they should make up most of your diet. The occasional soda or piece of candy won’t throw everything off. The point is to not make overly sugary foods an everyday thing. Of course, even eating the right foods aren’t a substitute for brushing and flossing, so keep up that routine as well. Between your home care and a healthy diet, your next visit to see your family dentist in Westport should be quick and easy!
If you’d like to know more about the foods that can help or harm your teeth, or other little tips to take care of them every day, please give us a call.