Best Foods for Good Dental Health

April 24, 2010

Foods for Teeth Health

After each painful visit at the dentist’s office we all swear that we will “be good” and do better to protect our teeth and gum.  Besides good brushing, regular dental cleaning and check up, eating and staying away from certain foods can improve and maintain good oral health.  It’s all about keeping your teeth clean and preventing or reducing the acids from attacking your teeth enamel.  Every time you eat, bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods you eat to acids.  Good teeth nutrition involves eating less sugar, and eating more nutrient dense foods.

Good foods for teeth health:

  • Food high in calcium and phosphorus – milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, fortified foods
  • Crunchy fresh fruits, vegetables- apple, pears, celery and carrot sticks
  • Sugar free foods:  gums, soft drinks, foods with sugar substitutes – If you can tolerate such ingredients like erythritol, isomalt, sorbitol, and mannitol. Look for sugar content under carbohydrates on nutrition facts label. Anything ending with “-ose” means it contain real sugar like sucrose, fructose, maltose.
  • Sugarless gum can benefit your teeth. Chewing gum can help clean teeth from sticky foods; and provide saliva flow to dilute the acids in your mouth. Some say the sugar substitute xylitol can help reduce cavities.
  • Drink lots of water – 6-8 glasses a day depending on your body size and activities.  You are rinsing, flushing and diluting the sugar in your mouth and providing must have hydration for your whole body.  Choose unsweetened coffee, tea, and drink products when possible.

Bad foods for teeth health:

  • High acids foods:  citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes. When you eat these, eat as a part of other foods. On the other hand, fruits with high vitamin C can help keep down bacteria growth and prevent gum disease scurvy.
  • High sugar foods – candy, hard and soft, cakes, cookies, dried fruits High sugar content results in high acid production.  Avoid sticky gummy foods that can lodge between teeth making it harder to remove.
  • High sugar drinks – Avoid sipping all day on high sugar drinks, exposing your teeth to a constant sugar source.
  • Natural sweeteners like barley malt, cane sugar, fructose, honey, molasses and rice syrup have the same calorie content as refined sugar. Although they are the healthier forms of sugars to use they can have the same harmful effect on your teeth.

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