The food you eat can have a huge impact on the health of your teeth. From eating sticky candies like caramels or gum or drinking dark coffee and red wine, there are plenty of opportunities for your teeth to be stained throughout the day. Did you know that certain foods and drinks can cause your teeth to decay? When sugar comes into direct contact with plaque on your teeth, the acids within the sugar begin to attack, causing a breakdown in the enamel. Luckily, tooth decay is one of the most preventable issues that can affect your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly and following a sensible diet.
Healthy Foods for Your Teeth
The first step to a healthy smile is drinking plenty of water. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, unflavored water can wash away sugars and other particles that are stuck on or between your teeth. Besides water, the following foods can help improve the health of your teeth:
- Dairy. Milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are high in calcium and protein. The chewing motions from eating cheese helps produce saliva, which in turn breaks down particles that can lead to decay. Many types of yogurt contain probiotics, which can improve the health of your teeth and gums. When selecting a type of yogurt, make sure to choose one without added sugars to experience some of the benefits. Cheese and yogurt can both be used to help strengthen your teeth.
- Fruit. Low-acidity fruits like apples are good for your teeth. Although apples are among the sweeter fruits, they are filled with water and high in fiber. Since the apple is filled with water, your mouth will begin to produce more saliva while chewing and digesting it. Apples are also fibrous, meaning they scrub your teeth while you eat them. Eating an apple cannot be used as a replacement for brushing your teeth, but your teeth will be cleaned while chewing.
- Vegetables. Most vegetables have properties that can benefit your teeth and gums. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are high in calcium and contain folic acid, both of which can help your oral health. Folic acid can help treat gum disease, especially in women who are pregnant.