Everyone has heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but the same can be said about the dentist. Between visits, people should take their oral health in their own hands to keep their mouths clean and happy. There are foods that can help with this, and others that work against you. From mealtime to snack time, there are options to help you.
Foods That Keep Teeth Strong
Most people know that calcium builds strong bones and teeth. Dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheeses, are full of calcium and are a common source for most people. Other options include dark green vegetables, fish that have been canned with the bones, dry beans, and almonds.
Chewing fibrous, abrasive fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples help to keep mouths clean by rubbing against the teeth and gums and prompt our mouths to produce more saliva. They also contain fiber, and the more fibrous fruits and vegetables hold water that also helps to keep mouths moist.
Green tea has plenty of antioxidants, even a type that kills bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque build-up. Drinking green tea without sugar is best because sugar sticks to teeth.
Foods with high vitamin C content help to keep teeth strong because it keeps the collagen in the gums strong. Without healthy gums, teeth are not safe from decay.
Lean proteins, such as chicken, eggs, and lean beef, have a high phosphorous content, which is important to keeping tooth enamel strong. It also keeps the pH levels in the mouth at a healthy level to prohibit bacteria growth.
Gum that contains xylitol has been found through studies to help to clean teeth and reduce the risk of decay. More studies must be conducted to determine how this works.
And, of course, water is the best drink for our bodies and our mouths. Water cleans food particles out of the mouth and keep saliva flowing, which helps us to avoid dry mouth.
Foods to Avoid
Sugar snacks and candies, soft drinks, coffee drinks, energy drinks, dried fruits, cakes, pies, and cookies are part of a long list of foods and drinks to avoid, or at least to have as part of a meal. When we eat larger meals, our mouths produce more saliva, washing away more of the sugars. Hard candies, or anything that sits in the mouth to dissolve prolong the time that the teeth are subjected to the sugar. Snack responsibly, for your body and your mouth to stay healthy.
If you have questions about what foods to eat to keep your teeth strong, ask Dr. Hakimzadeh in Phoenix, Arizona at your next appointment. If you are a new patient, we hope to hear from you soon. Keep smiling!