03 Apr Food Friends and Foes for Your Teeth
The value of maintaining healthy teeth and gums is so much more than an attractive smile. Our teeth play a huge role in overall good health as well, so knowing which foods are best to support oral health is important. Information is everywhere, but for the best answers about dentition, go to the source … your dentist.
Teeth are very strong, but they are not invincible. They require a proper balance of foods high in nutritional value like vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein … and very limited sugary snacks and beverages.
Food friends include all fresh fruits and vegetables. Canned varieties can be loaded with sugar so acquaint yourself with food labels. When fresh is out of season, frozen alternatives are usually available.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, low sugar yogurt or pudding, and cottage cheese provide loads of healthy vitamins and nutrients that are ideal to support great oral health.
Protein can come from many sources … meat, poultry, nuts, and seeds to name a few.
At the top of the list of food friendly beverages is water. If plain H2O is too boring for you, water can be infused with lemons, berries, cucumbers … just about any flavor you can think of, you can add to water. Unsweetened coffee and tea are acceptable as well – just be aware of your caffeine consumption and possible sleep difficulties if you like to sip in the evening.
Foods to avoid (or severely limit) include candy (especially gummy varieties that stick to your teeth), cake, cookies, and ice cream. You see the common thread here is sugar. These items should be considered treats to be savored on special occasions.
Soda, pop, or soft drinks … whatever you call them, they are unhealthy for your teeth. Even the sugar free varieties include acids that can damage teeth. Other poor beverage choices include many fruit juices due to their high sugar content.
Consuming healthy foods will help with controlling plaque that naturally forms on teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease – and can only be safely removed with a trip to your dentist.
In addition to consuming a healthy diet, patients concerned with maintaining great oral health will brush at least twice every day with a fluoride toothpaste; floss daily; and visit the dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.
If it’s time for your next dental cleaning, contact our office today!