Eating a good diet and avoiding sugar is important for our dental health. While this is true, even some healthy foods can be bad for your teeth, and it’s important to know when extra brushing is necessary.
Below is a list of the best and worst foods for your smile, as well as tips for caring for teeth that have been exposed to damaging snacks and beverages.
Healthy Foods and Drinks for your Smile
Water – By far the healthiest drink for your oral and overall health. Fluoridated water is even better, as fluoride not only fights cavities, but strengthens the enamel of teeth.
- Dairy Products - Drinking milk, or eating cheese and yogurts which are low in sugar, and high in calcium help teeth stay healthy.
- Lean proteins – Meats, poultry, and fish contain phosphorus which, along with their protein help strengthen teeth. Be sure to brush after as meat fibers can get stuck between teeth.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Crisp fruits and vegetables are especially good for your teeth. They help clean teeth and produce saliva which encourages a healthy oral environment.
- Nuts and legumes – These foods contain protein and minerals that are healthy for your smile, while also being low in cavity promoting carbohydrates. Chewing nuts also stimulates saliva.
Food that can Damage Your Smile
- Hard Candy – These candies are high in sugar and if chewed, can cause damage to your teeth. Sugarless gum (that carries the ADA seal) is a much better alternative.
- Ice – Chewing on ice can also damage your teeth. This is a habit worth breaking.
- Citrus - Watch your citrus intake. These fruits contain high amounts of acid, which erode tooth enamel. Be sure to drink water with citrus to help rinse away this acid.
- Dark Beverages & Alcohol – Drinks like coffee, tea, and wine can stain your teeth, while alcohol and caffeinated drinks can dry out your mouth, causing bacteria to grow.
- Sticky, Chewy Foods – Sticky foods are the worst. They are full of sugar and remain on your teeth longer than other foods. Even seemingly healthy dried fruits remain on your teeth for extended periods, feeding the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Potato Chips - Most chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up and drink plenty of water.
- Soda – Like citrus, sodas are acidic and can wear down healthy tooth enamel, and also have tons of cavity causing sugar.
- Sports Drinks – You may think these are a better alternative to soda but they are also full of sugar.
To minimize the risk of damaging your teeth when consuming less than ideal foods and beverages, always rinse your mouth out with water after eating snacks that can harm your teeth, and make sure to brush and floss shortly after.
Call Colorado Springs Dentist, Rhonda Bowen to Learn More or to Schedule a Visit
Dr. Bowen is committed to helping her patients maintain or improve their smiles. She provides comprehensive treatments for teeth and gums and offers gentle, compassionate care.