The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth
At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we value good habits that enable you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Good oral habits extend beyond maintaining a regular brushing and flossing routine or visiting your dentist at least once every 6 months. It is also important to avoid consuming foods and drinks that can damage your oral health by causing cavities, plaque, gum diseases, and more. Plus, you should also consume teeth-friendly food that enables you to maintain strong teeth and gums.
Teeth healthy foods that you should include in your diet
1. Fatty fish – Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and more are often recommended as a part of a healthy diet due to the numerous health benefits they offer. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to support healthy gums by reducing or preventing the signs of periodontitis. In fact, you should definitely include food or supplement omega-3 fatty acids in your diet if you notice blood while flossing or brushing your teeth.
Oily fish are also high in vitamin D which works synergistically with vitamins K2 and A to deliver calcium to the teeth. As a result, it helps to strengthen weakened enamels and maintain their strength.
2. Cheese – If you are like most people, you enjoy the rich flavour and texture of different types of cheese. However, if you need yet another reason to consume cheese daily, you would be delighted to know that cheese is rich in nutrients such as calcium and protein that helps to strengthen your tooth enamel.
According to the National Health Portal, eating cheese after consuming a meal with sweets, soda, citrus, bread and more help to counteract the acid left behind by the meal since it raises the pH level inside your mouth. Soft cheese such as aged cheddar, brie, blues, and camembert not only makes great choices as desserts but can also reduce the risk of tooth decay.
3. Green leafy vegetables – Dark leafy greens are full of essential vitamins and minerals that provide a plethora of health benefits including strengthening the structure of your teeth through remineralization. Some of the best leafy vegetables you can include in your diet are spinach, arugula, kale, turnip greens, swiss chard, and more.
Leafy greens also include helpful prebiotics that feeds the good oral bacteria in your mouth. As a result, consuming leafy greens would allow you to develop a healthy oral microbiome that is high in nitrate-reducing bacteria.
4. Apples, carrots, celery – According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the high-fibre content in fruits and vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumber, and apples help to scrub your teeth and stimulate the production of saliva which helps to keep your teeth clean.
The fibrous texture of apples, carrots, and celery helps to stimulate the gums and scrape away the stuck food particles and bacteria in your mouth.
5. Yoghurt – Yoghurt is also a very healthy food for your teeth since it is rich in protein and calcium which makes your teeth and bones healthy. Plus, they include probiotics (beneficial bacteria) which help to develop a good microbiome inside your mouth to maintain your oral health. However, if you love eating yoghurt ensure you choose the plain variety that is devoid of added sugars.
Worst foods for your teeth
1. Bread – Bread is a staple food in many countries since it is rich in complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, when you chew bread, the starches present in it turn into a gummy-like paste that is rich in sugars and it sticks to the teeth. And, if you don’t wash your teeth properly after consuming bread, it can result in the development of cavities over time.
2. Crackers – It is hard to believe that consuming crackers such as Goldfish or saltines can do so much damage to your teeth. Yes, crackers are full of carbohydrates that become sugar in your mouth in seconds and feed the harmful bacteria in your mouth which excrete acid on your teeth.
3. Carbonated drinks – All carbonated drinks including ‘diet’ sodas are unhealthy to consume since they are full of unhealthy sugars and acid. In fact, most carbonated drinks and beverages rank between 2 and 3 on the pH scale which is much more acidic compared to a cup of coffee.
When you drink carbonated drinks such as soda and soft drinks, it lowers the pH level in your mouth which can cause a general dysbiosis of the oral microbiome. It also contributes to gum inflammation, gum disease, and tooth decay. Habitually consuming dark-coloured sodas can also stain your teeth.
4. Dried fruits – Many people believe that eating dried fruits is healthy and while that is true, they also come with a few cons. For instance, dried fruits such as prunes, apricots, raisins, figs, and more are incredibly sticky. They can cling to your teeth and leave sugar when you eat them.
Thus, it is important to properly rinse your mouth with water and even brush and floss your teeth after eating dried fruits. Otherwise, they can lead to the development of cavities. We suggest you eat their fresh version instead if you love eating fruits.
5. Alcohol – Almost everybody knows the negative health effects associated with consuming alcohol since it is essentially a type of poison. However, did you know that consuming alcohol makes your mouth dry? A dry mouth means that there is no saliva in your mouth to coat your teeth with important minerals that help to keep your teeth healthy.
Plus, without saliva, there is a higher risk of food particles sticking to your teeth and causing damage to them over time.
At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you avoid snacking on sour candies and potato chips since they are harmful to your teeth and health as well. Although these might be satisfying to consume, they are full of carbohydrates and sugars. In fact, the starch in potato chips can get trapped between the teeth and feed the bad bacteria in your mouth.