What Should I Eat for Healthy Teeth?

There are so many diet fads out there–the low carb, all-juice, no-calorie–but what about the “tooth friendly” diet? Believe it or not, your teeth are extremely receptive to what you feed them. Despite being the strongest bones in the body, enamel can break down if given the wrong foods and drinks. If you value your teeth and want to make sure you’ll have your pearly whites for years to come, read on!

The best part of a tooth-friendly diet is that it’s also “people friendly”. This means that the same foods that are good for your teeth will be good for your body and full of nutrients and grains. Think about it–the same foods that are considered unhealthy for losing weight or staying fit are probably the ones you would avoid at the advice of a dentist. Cakes, sodas, and gummies are on the no-no list.

Teeth and calcium

Surely you were told as a child that you needed to drink milk for strong bones and teeth. The truth is that not only do growing children need calcium, but full-grown adults as well. Having enough calcium can prevent tooth decay because of the body’s need for calcium and it’s tendency to steal from the mouth. If a diet is lacking in calcium, the body may attempt to take these minerals from the enamel of teeth, leading to weaker defense against decay and cavities. The jawbone is susceptible to these effects as well, which may cause teeth to loosen and possibly decay faster.

Make sure you get about 1,000 mg of calcium daily from foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. If you don’t like dairy, some fish like sardines and salmon have calcium. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a salad with kale and broccoli–both of which are sources of calcium.

Teeth and vitamin C

The body uses vitamin C in conjunction with the immunity system to fight off diseases ranging from the common cold to even cancer. This essential vitamin is also a friend to teeth, and can help ward off mouth infections like gingivitis and gum disease. However, vitamin C can also contribute to tooth decay if used with abrasives. So try not to brush your teeth with toothpastes that add vitamin C. Ingestion through fruits is the best for your mouth, so stock up on citrus and kiwis!

Teeth and fruits

Fruits and vegetables are obviously the best for your body, being natural sources of rich vitamins. Some fruits and veggies, particularly crunchy ones, act like a detergent on teeth to rid the mouth of bacteria and plaque. They also enable saliva-production because of the copious chewing required. Saliva can also help rid bacteria from the tooth enamel and crevices between teeth. While most fibrous fruits are great for your teeth, beware of too many fruits as a supplement for food. All-fruit diets produce too much sugar and not the essential nutrients from grains and other food groups.

Teeth and water

Everyone knows that water is the best thing for the body, but it can also serve a double-purpose for teeth. For one thing, it rinses the teeth clean and can be instrumental in bacteria prevention. Water also substitutes the need for sugary drinks and alcohol, which are instrumental in causing plaque buildups. Tap water is better than bottled and filtered water because of the presence of fluoride.

If you are committed to keeping your teeth healthy and clean, contact your local dentist at Greenspoint Dental to learn more about what foods are the best for your teeth. A healthy diet goes a long way in preventing costly procedures and tooth decay.