You might already be watching what you eat because of your health and fitness goals. However, making sure to eat the “right foods” can also play a huge role when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums.
If you’ve ever been told by your dentist to lay off the gum or candies (especially around Halloween), then they’re not wrong—there’s a huge reason why they’re telling you to reduce or avoid eating or chewing on certain foods: they’re simply not good for you.
You Are What You Eat
You probably have already heard that before when it comes to eating junk food in regard to your weight and fitness level. However, eating sugary or starchy foods can also transfer to your teeth and gums.
Well, most junk foods come with germs in the form of bacteria that can be not only difficult to get rid of but if they stick around (and they most likely will), they can lead to getting gum disease and even tooth decay.
These “bad” foods cause plaque—which is a very thin, seemingly invisible syrupy bacteria that latches onto your teeth—every single surface of it—and gums. When this plaque meets the presence of “bad food”, it forms an acid which does damage to your teeth—even a half-hour after you’re finished eating.
This damage does a number on the protecting enamel surface of your teeth, which makes it even easier to penetrate. The gums also take a beating, with the bacteria causing a breakdown of the gums, causing them to become inflamed, and even reaching down into the bone.
The Villains and Superheroes for Your Teeth
Fortunately, not all foods are bad and cause plaque buildup—there are even some superhero foods that fight off the decay.
Dental professionals at Amazing Smile Dental in Langley want to help you make the right choices—that can help play a role in improving your overall health and that of your teeth and gums.
Here are a few superhero foods for your teeth—you probably can find similarities when it comes to superhero foods for your health, too:
- Fruits and Veggies: Obviously, landing the number one spot in foods that are good for your teeth in gums are fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber. Not only are they the best defense there is against gum disease, but they also activate the saliva and help flush the acid out as well as provide you with calcium and phosphate, which can help build stronger teeth with natural minerals.
- Dairy Products: From plain, natural yogurt to cheese and milk, these types of foods are chock-full of calcium—which are great for building stronger teeth and its enamel. They also stimulate saliva production.
- Teas: Certain teas—like the green and black ones—have something called polyphenols, which help kill off bacteria in your mouth. A cup of tea is also an excellent source of fluoride, which is a great teeth-cleaner.
With every good side, there’s always a dark side.
Here are the foods to be on the lookout for if you want to make it easy to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Starchy foods: Foods like potato chips and bread can easily get stuck in between your teeth, which makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs to grow.
- Sodas: Especially when the carbonated drink includes caffeine and sugar, these can be extremely detrimental to your dental health—with citric acids, sugar, and phosphor, which break your enamel.
- Sweets and candy: This one is quite obvious, so we’ve left it for last. However, the risk doesn’t change—ones with refined sugar are the worst because they tend to stick around (literally) in your mouth.
What to Eat and Not to Eat for Oral Health
To help you keep your mouth healthy, we hope the article has helped you identify the best and worst foods for your teeth and gums.
If you do plan on eating any of the “bad” foods, try to eat them either with meals or while drinking water to help flush out bacteria and prevent tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing regularly also helps, of course!