The Link Between Nutrition And Healthy Teeth
The health of our teeth and mouths is greatly affected by the foods we choose to eat. While many foods can cause erosion and decay, there are others that bolster and strengthen our teeth, keeping them healthy for years to come. Preventative dental care, such as watching what you eat, can affect your smile in ways you might have never before considered. Before you drink that soda or pop that piece of candy, consider the ramifications, and which foods can be eaten instead to fortify your teeth:
Beware of Acid
Many delicious foods are filled with acidic components that cause a lot of wear and tear on our teeth—more specifically, the enamel on our teeth. The enamel is a protective layer that can become corroded by acidic foods such as lemons, oranges, other citrus foods, and coffee. The acid in these food items breaks down the protective enamel, leaving the teeth susceptible to discoloration and erosion. After eating an acidic food, brush your teeth. If you are unable to brush, then simply swishing with water can greatly reduce the potential hazard of acidic foods.
Skip the Sugar
Being wary of sugary snacks is good preventative dental care that can help reduce the risk of cavities and rotten teeth. Sugars that sit on the teeth can weaken them, and make them far more susceptible to infection. When you can’t resist the urge to indulge in something sugary, such as candy or soda, try to brush your teeth soon after. Even eating an apple can help prevent the rotting of one’s teeth by cleaning the tooth while you eat it.
Indulge in Tooth-friendly Foods
There are a variety of foods that if eaten regularly, can act as a preventative dental care tool in keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Cheese is a tooth super food for multiple reasons: there is little to no sugar, no acid, and there is a protein called casein, which helps build strong teeth. Fibrous, raw fruits and veggies, such as celery, pears, or the aforementioned apple, are good for teeth because the friction of the fiber rubbing against the tooth helps clear it of debris that would otherwise sit and start to break down the enamel of the tooth.
Yogurt and other dairy products are good for the teeth because they contain calcium and phosphates that work to fortify and strengthen the teeth, preventing future breakage and decay. The Xylitol that is found in sugar-free gum is also good for your teeth—it prevents plaque bacteria from metabolizing sugar and therefore from destroying your teeth.
Preventative dental care is highly important because we only get one set of adult teeth. By ensuring that we are doing the best that we can, between brushing, flossing, and eating the right foods, we can extend the life of our smiles. By avoiding sugary, acidic foods, and choosing calcium-rich, fibrous food instead, tooth health can improve over time, and we can develop strong, healthy teeth for the rest of our lives.