This means you should eat a variety of foods from each of the five food groups. This variety will help you to consume a range of vitamins and minerals to promote good oral and overall health.
Unhealthy snacks should be swapped for healthier options like yogurt, fruit, raw vegetables or cheese. An unhealthy diet can cause tooth decay or aggravate gum disease. A lack of nutrients makes it difficult for the tissue in the mouth to fight off infections or heal any damage to the gums.
Researchers believe a low-nutrient diet causes periodontal disease to be more severe and progress faster than in patients following a diet high in nutrients. Foods that are high in sugars, starches and carbohydrates cause your mouth to produce plaque acids which attack tooth enamel and lead to decay and cavities.
All kinds of sugar contribute to tooth decay, but foods like milk and some fruits and vegetables contain sugars alongside the vital nutrients required to maintain our overall health. The amount of sugar you consume can be drastically reduced by removing processed foods and those with added refined sugar from your diet.
Water helps clean the mouth by washing away food and sugar residue with every sip. It stimulates saliva, which is the mouth’s frontline defence against plaque, and it doesn’t contain any substances that harm the teeth. Water that contains extra fluoride is especially good, as it helps to strengthen the teeth.
The high protein and mineral content of nuts contribute to a healthy dental environment. The chewing action helps stimulate saliva and low-carbohydrate nuts don’t heighten the risk of snack-produced plaque.
Teeth are strengthened by the phosphorus and protein found in fish, chicken, meat, eggs and milk.
Similarly, the protein and calcium in dairy products like yogurt and cheese also strengthen teeth. Choose sugar-free dairy products so you don’t undo the benefits of the extra calcium.
Fruits and vegetables are not only good for your teeth, but also for your overall health. Both are high in water and fibre, which helps balance out their natural sugars. The chewing action removes plaque and stimulates saliva to help rinse away harmful acids and food particles.
These foods might be particularly good for your teeth, but nevertheless, make sure you don’t forget to brush and floss after eating.
Teeth should not crunch ice. The hardness and sub-zero temperature of ice cubes can cause anything from microscopic cracks in the enamel surface to actual fractures in the tooth. Enjoy ice in drinks, but please refrain from chewing it.
The caffeine in coffee and tea dries out the mouth, and the sugar that is often added to these drinks promotes the growth of plaque. The dark colour of both can also stain the teeth. These three reasons should be enough to encourage you to reduce the amount of coffee and tea you consume.
These can break or chip the teeth. They are also loaded with sugar, which can be harmful when eaten regularly. However, if you cannot resist a sweet treat, opt for sugar-free gum, which carries the ADA seal of approval.
Frequent exposure to the acids in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can erode enamel and put you at greater risk of tooth decay. Citrus can also irritate mouth sores. Always drink plenty of water after enjoying citrus fruits or fruit juices to wash away any acid remnants.
Alcohol dehydrates the body, especially the mouth, and reduces the production of saliva. People who drink excessively also report their overall saliva production slows down over time. Less saliva means a higher chance of tooth decay, oral infections and gum disease. Research also leads us to believe that alcohol can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer.
The starch in potato crisps is easily trapped between your teeth and immediately stimulates the production of plaque and tartar. If you can’t resist snacking on crisps, make sure to remove any residue with floss and mouthwash.
While raw fruit is good for a healthy mouth, dried fruit does not have the same benefit. Besides the fact that dried fruit contains sugars, the sticky texture tends to stay on the tooth longer than it should. Rinse your mouth after eating foods like fruit rolls or trail mix, brushing and flossing away any remnants.
Sports drinks may give you energy, but they can also give you tooth decay. Sugar is the top ingredient in many sports drinks. While this helps to keep up energy levels, it will not do your teeth any good. It is better to choose a healthier option, like water or low-sugar alternatives.
Sugar is the main culprit again. Plaque bacteria use sugar to produce the acid that attacks tooth enamel. This becomes especially problematic if you sip these drinks over long periods. Aside from the sugar content, carbonated drinks are acidic and caffeinated beverages cause the mouth to dry out.
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