Diet for Healthy Teeth

Dental experts have long found the connection between oral health and sound diet. For many years, the American Dental Association (ADA) has suggested that we should limit our food and beverage intake between meals. And when we must snack, we should prefer nutritious foods. Basically, the foods we eat as our body’s fuel to perform effectively or efficiently affect our general health, including our teeth.

Mouth logistics

To better understand what causes poor oral health, don’t forget that you have the following in your mouth: teeth that are very susceptible to attack by acids; saliva that moves around your mouth and can rinse acids from your teeth; and microorganisms responsible for the fermentation of carbohydrates, forming acids.

Time is another factor that contributes to poor oral health – the occurrence of tooth cavities depends on how often and how long your teeth are exposed to acids. The types of food you eat also greatly affect the health of your teeth, gum, and mouth.

Tooth-healthy diet

Milk, cheeses, nuts, chicken and other meats can protect your tooth enamel by giving you the phosphorous and calcium you need to remineralize the teeth. Remineralization is a natural process wherein minerals removed by acids are redeposited in tooth enamel.

You can also eat firm and crunchy fruits such as pears and apples and vegetables like carrots and cauliflowers. These fruits and vegetables are high in water, which helps in stimulating saliva flow.

Saliva protects your teeth against cavities as it buffers acid and washes food particles away. Saliva is also responsible for diluting the effects of sugars contained in the foods you eat.

You need to have an adequate intake of fluoride, phosphorous, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D to prevent tooth decay. You can have these minerals (except fluoride) and vitamins in a regular balanced diet.

Fluorides are deficient and must be supplemented. Teeth that contain fluoride are certainly more resistant to cavities. To maintain healthy teeth, you need to drink water (fluoridated water if possible), unsweetened tea, and milk.

Poor food choices

Frequent consumption of candies (mints, hard candies, and lollipops), cakes, cookies, breads, pies, potato chips, muffins, french fries, pretzels, raisins, bananas, and dried fruits increases your risk of tooth decay.

Consumption of refined carbohydrates such as sugar and flour become sticky quickly, clinging to your teeth for a long period of time. This is perfect for bacteria production.

These bacteria easily break down refined carbohydrates to acids, the major cause of tooth cavities. Acidic foodstuffs such as carbonated drinks and some fruit juices are also poor food choices. Moreover, moderate your intake of tea or coffee with added sugar.

Sugar substitutes

Many dentists recommend sugar substitutes – they taste and look like sugar but unlike sugar, they don’t produce acids that cause tooth decay. Sugar substitutes include mannitol, sorbitol, isomalt, and erythritol.

However, while these substitutes are sugarless, they may contain natural sweeteners like molasses, honey, fructose, evaporated cane sugar, rice syrup, or barley malt, which can harm your teeth.