The foods you eat directly impact your teeth and gums, so it’s important to be mindful of what you’re consuming to maintain a healthy smile. To help you make choices that will keep your smile looking its best, here’s a compilation of the best and worst foods for your teeth.
The Best Foods for Your Teeth
Some foods are good for your teeth! These include:
Believe it or not, cheese is good for your teeth. That’s because it contains calcium, essential for strong teeth and bones. Cheese also helps neutralize the acids in your mouth, leading to tooth decay.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Like cheese, leafy greens are also a good source of calcium. They also contain folic acid, which has been shown to prevent gum disease. So load up on spinach, kale, collards, and other leafy greens to help keep your smile looking its best.
An apple a day may indeed keep the dentist away! Apples stimulate saliva production, which helps rinse away plaque and bacteria. Just be sure to brush afterward, as apples also contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay if not removed promptly.
Celery is another food that’s great for your teeth. Like apples, it stimulates saliva production and helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Celery is also a good source of vitamins A and C.
Food with Flouride
Flouride is a mineral that helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. It can be found in foods like salmon, tea, and chicken.
The Worst Foods for Your Teeth
Unfortunately, not all foods are good for your teeth. Some can even cause serious damage. These include:
Candy is one of the worst things you can eat if you want to maintain a healthy smile. That’s because candy is loaded with sugar, which leads to tooth decay. What’s more, hard candy can crack or break your teeth if you bite down on it wrong. So instead of reaching for a candy bar the next time you’re craving something sweet, opt for something else.
You may be surprised to learn that bread is also bad for your teeth. That’s because when you eat bread, it becomes a sticky paste in your mouth that clings to your teeth and gums. This paste then provides a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. So while bread may be delicious, it’s best to enjoy it in moderation if you want to keep your smile looking its best.
Potato chips are another bad food for your teeth due to their starch content. Starch turns into sugar when it meets up with the bacteria in your mouth, leading to tooth decay. Potato chips are also highly acidic, which can wear away at tooth enamel over time and leave your teeth susceptible to cavities and other problems.
Technically a drink, but coffee warrants its mention due to its high acidity. Like potato chips, coffee can wear away at tooth enamel over time, leading to cavities and other problems. Coffee is also a major culprit in staining teeth.
What You Can Do to Maintain Good Oral Health
Say you chose to avoid all the bad food for oral health, but you may still need to be in the clear. You should do other things to ensure your smile stays shining brightly.
Brush and floss daily: This one is a no-brainer, but it’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria.
Visit your dentist regularly: You should see your dentist at least once a year for a cleaning and checkup. This will help catch any problems early and keep your teeth healthy. You can also avail of teeth whitening services from your dentist, especially if you enjoy drinking coffee or are smoking cigarettes.
Eat a balanced diet: A healthy diet is important for overall health, including oral health. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. And limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
Don’t smoke: Smoking harms your teeth and gums, leading to gum disease, tooth loss, and other problems. So if you smoke, now is the time to quit.
Tip: Remember to drink water. Water helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, and it also helps keep your gums healthy. Drinking water after eating sugary or acidic foods helps rinse any harmful substances.
Maintain a Healthy Smile
When it comes to maintaining a healthy smile, what you eat makes a big difference. Some foods, like cheese and leafy green vegetables, are good for your teeth. In contrast, others—like candy and bread—are best enjoyed in moderation. By making smart choices about what you put in your mouth, you can help keep your smile looking its best for years to come!