Oral Health 101: The Foods to Eat and Avoid

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There’s plenty of great food out there that doesn’t require lots and lots of chewing. Tomato bisques are delicious, ice cream is the perfect treat, and you can’t ever really go wrong with chicken noodle soup. Plus, you don’t need teeth to drink water.

But, there are also plenty of delicious foods out there that require plenty of chewing. Salads, plenty of fruits, and a cheat meal pizza require frequent and constant use of your teeth.

In order to make sure you have the teeth to keep eating whatever you want, it’s important you take care of them.

Yes, everyone knows that you should be brushing your teeth, flossing your teeth, and using mouthwash on the regular (and if you’re not, use that as a reminder). In addition, you should be making regular dental visits, at least one every six months. You shouldn’t use your teeth to crack open a bottle, bite through a nut, or crunch ice.

In addition to all of these suggestions, there are plenty of dietary measures you can take to ensure proper oral health. Below, we’re going to run through a list of great food for your teeth as well as some foods you should be actively avoiding.

Eat These Foods

Foods High in Calcium

We’ll start off with something that your grandparents, parents, teachers, dentists, and everyone else has been saying for the last 1000 years: “drink milk for strong teeth and bones!”

While you shouldn’t just gobble down any old milk and hope to turn into Jaws from James Bond, you should be picking out milks that are low-fat or even fat-free. Not only are these great for the rest of your body, but that provide your necessary calcium every day.

In addition, snack on some fat-free yogurt or cheeses (maybe with a bit of honey sprinkled on top) or almonds. For dinner, make sure you’re eating salmon mixed with plenty of leafy green veggies.

Foods High in Vitamin C

These foods aren’t as quite beneficial for your teeth, but they’re incredibly beneficial for your gums. While you might be thinking oranges are the best source for vitamin C, you might be surprised to find that peppers are the true kings of the C.

In addition, load up on tomatoes, broccoli, and other fruits to keep your gums in tip-top shape.

The Beverage Side

Besides drinking water, you should be drinking green or black tea on a regular basis. Both of these teas have substances that naturally fight back plaque and other bacteria.

This will help avoid bacteria building up on your teeth which can cause tooth decay and flower-wilting breath.

Avoid These Foods

Candy and Sweets

 We’re not here to tell you that you should never grab a pack of M&M’s at the movie theater or avoid the dish of Jolly Ranchers from the secretary’s desk like the plague, but you should definitely be avoiding candies.

It’s best to avoid candies that linger in your mouth for long periods of time, like lollipops or caramels. Repeated intake of sugar, especially refined sugar, is a great way to damage your teeth over time.

If you do have a constant sweet tooth, look for dark chocolate which washes off teeth rather quickly.

Food That Sticks in Your Teeth

 Sorry, not an excuse to avoid vegetables that stick in between your two front teeth. You should be avoiding over consumption of popcorn, chips, and other foods that tend to get jammed in between your teeth.

Not only are these bad for your teeth, but they can damage gums over time and get wedged into places that are incredibly uncomfortable.

The Beverage Side

 With candies and sweets listed above, you can probably guess what’s next. Yes, avoiding sodas is an easy way to take care of your teeth. Not just sodas, but other overly acidic drinks like juices.

Having a soda or glass or orange juice isn’t terrible, but make sure to severely moderate your intake of either. Repeated use is likely to clear out the protective enamel which can lead to holes and eventually cavities.

Limit your alcohol intake as well, as these drinks tend to dry out your mouth and can eventually lead to gum diseases and tooth decay.

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