What you eat affects your mouth not only by building healthier teeth and gums, but by helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease! Learn how to eat the best diet for your teeth, including foods to eat, beverages to drink and what to avoid.
Drinking milk builds strong bones and teeth. A diet with adequate calcium may prevent against tooth decay. When a diet is low in calcium, the body takes minerals from teeth and bones which can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Those who have less than half the recommended dietary allowance were almost twice as likely to have gum disease than those who had the recommended intake. Your jawbone is particularly effected by low calcium – it can weaken which causes teeth to loosen and increase your risk for gum disease.
Calcium is found in dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt; fish, including sardines and salmon, and some vegetables, including kale and broccoli. Two to four daily servings of dairy will help you meet the daily recommendations for calcium.
Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy fruits and veggies, such as apples, pears, celery, and carrots, are good for your teeth in two ways. The crisp texture acts as a cleaner on teeth, clearing away bacteria that can cause plaque. These foods also require a lot of chewing, which increases saliva production which can help reduce bacteria.
Your body needs vitamin C to help the body fight off infections. Those who eat less than the recommended 75-90mg per day are 25% more likely to have gingivitis (a mild form of periodontal disease causing the gums to become red, inflamed, and swollen) than those who eat three times the daily allowance.
Eating one piece of citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, tangerine) or kiwi daily will help you meet the recommended allowance for vitamin C.
Drinking plenty of water helps rinse aware bacteria and food remnants that bacteria turns into plaque. Tap water is better for teeth than bottled because it contains fluoride, which also helps prevent tooth decay.
While drinking tea may stain teeth, studies have shown that compounds in black tea can destroy or suppress growth of cavity-causing bacteria in plaque – this can help prevent both cavities and gum disease.
Foods to Avoid
Sugary snacks, especially gummy and hard candies that stick to your teeth are at the top of the list of foods to avoid. Regular soda is also on the list, with both sugar and acid on the list of ingredients.
Regardless of the food and drinks you consume, it’s important to brush and floss after – or at least rinse your mouth with water. Routine dental visits are also important to catch any problem areas in the early stages.