Do you know what foods and drinks are good for your teeth and which aren’t? Common foods and beverages can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel and the development of tooth decay. The most dangerous ingredients to your teeth are sugar and acid – especially if they are both present in a food or drink’s ingredients. If you’re wondering if your diet is tooth friendly, read on for tips or call our practice to speak with our family dentist.
Eliminate Sugar Wherever Possible
Sugar is not a friend to your teeth or your mouth. Oral bacteria feed on sugar as it is their natural source of food. When we consume anything with sugar, oral bacteria go on a feeding frenzy. As they feed, they will colonize to form plaque and they will release acid as a by-product. Plaque is a semi-translucent substance that coats teeth and gums. Once it is exposed to calculus, it hardens and cannot be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Eliminating sugary foods and drinks from your diet can help prevent the risk of developing tooth decay by starving bacteria along with maintaining a healthy oral pH. When buying food, look at the ingredient deck closely. Any sugar derivatives like fructose can have the same effect on teeth. Fruits also contain natural sugars and should be consumed in moderation.
Acid, like sugar, is very dangerous for your teeth. Tooth enamel is comprised of minerals like calcium. It surrounds the outer structures of teeth above the gum line. Enamel, when healthy, cannot be penetrated by cavity-causing bacteria. Unfortunately, tooth enamel can become permanently damaged when exposed to strong acid on a repeated basis. Acid can be found in sodas, sports drinks, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and citrus. It is best to avoid acid whenever possible to protect tooth enamel from erosion.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is a tooth-friendly beverage. Drinking water throughout the day can rinse away leftover food and dilute acid to help keep a healthy oral pH.
If it’s time for a cleaning or checkup, call our practice to schedule an appointment with our family dentist, Dr. Philip Kozlow.