You probably know how important it is to brush your teeth regularly and schedule dental checkups. Proper oral hygiene is essential for lifelong healthy teeth. Unfortunately, all the care in the world can’t help if you have a bad diet. What you eat and drink affects your smile from the inside out. If your diet isn’t the best, don’t worry – it’s not too late! You can always reap the benefits of good food habits.
What to Eat
Vegetables and Fruits
Vitamin-rich vegetables are great for strong, healthy teeth. Leafy greens are rich in folic acid, which has been shown to slow or prevent tooth decay. Foods like greens, which require a lot of chewing, are also good to clean your teeth. All that chewing stimulates saliva production, which washes sugars and bacteria out of your mouth. Crunchy foods like celery and apples can also clean your teeth. Biting into these foods can scrape debris off of the surfaces of your teeth, almost like tooth brushing.
Calcium is essential for healthy teeth and bones, and dairy is a rich source of this important nutrient. Strong teeth are more resistant to damage. The calcium and protein in dairy products also strengthen tooth enamel to protect teeth against decay.
One of the best and easiest things you can do for your teeth is drink water. Water washes debris and sugar out of your mouth to slow decay. It also stimulates saliva production which is important for a clean and healthy mouth. If you live on city water, odds are that your water also contains fluoride. Fluoride is a salt that has been shown to prevent tooth decay. It is so important that it is added to public water.
What to Avoid
Candy and Soda
Sugar is the enemy of a healthy smile, and candy and soda are two of the biggest sources of harmful sugars. The bacteria that cause decay feed on sugars, so sugars accelerate tooth decay. These foods in moderation generally shouldn’t be a source of concern, just make sure to drink lots of water or brush your teeth after eating.
Sweet Fruit and Citrus
Much like candy, sweet fruits contain a lot of sugar that can accelerate tooth decay. Apples are an exception because of their crunchy texture, but for all their other health benefits, most fruits really aren’t great for your teeth. Citrus fruits are harmful for a whole other reason: acid. The acid in citrus – as well as things like pickles – eats away at the enamel that protects your teeth. Teeth with weakened enamel are more susceptible to decay.
Pigmented Foods and Drinks
Things with dark colors, such as coffee, tea, and wine, can stain the teeth. The tannins in tea and wine can be particularly stubborn and resistant to brushing and even professional whitening treatments. The acidity in these foods can also eat away at your enamel.
Schedule an Appointment
Do you have questions about the best ways to care for your teeth at home? We are happy to discuss the health of your mouth and what you can do to keep your smile looking and feeling its best. To schedule an appointment with Drs. Kush Patel and Krutav Patel at Craft Smiles, contact our Fullerton, CA office online or at (714) 888-7008.