Your food choices impact not only overall health but also your dental health. When you choose the right food for healthy gums and teeth, it helps to ensure you can maintain good oral health more easily. The right food will contain all the nutrients your teeth and gums need to ensure they remain healthy and strong and can fight infection and disease more easily. Conversely, choosing bad food for teeth increases the risk of developing tooth decay and other oral diseases such as gum disease and mouth infections.
Which Food Is Good for Teeth and Bones?
There are lots of tasty foods that are good for your teeth, gums and bones. So when it comes to good nutrition and teeth health, look to include more of these foods in your diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like lettuce, kale and spinach are great for teeth because they are high in calcium and contain folic acid and other vitamins and minerals. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain lots of fibre, especially those that are crunchy, as they are great for dental health. For example, the fibre in crisp and crunchy apples and carrots acts a little like a natural toothbrush and has a slight scrubbing action on your teeth, helping to keep your teeth and gums cleaner. Also, eating fibre rich foods helps stimulate saliva flow.
You need a good flow of saliva to lubricate your mouth and keep it clean, and saliva helps to moisten food, so it is easier to chew and swallow, beginning the process of digestion. Another important benefit of saliva is that it helps your mouth to maintain a more neutral pH. Whenever you eat anything sugary or starchy, your mouth becomes more acidic, and the acids attack your teeth, removing some essential minerals, including calcium and phosphate, from your tooth enamel. Saliva neutralises these acids more quickly, helping to remineralise teeth and redepositing calcium and phosphate back into tooth enamel.
Sugar-Free Dairy Products
Sugar-free yoghurt, milk and cheese are excellent for teeth as they contain plenty of calcium and phosphate, helping to strengthen tooth enamel. Hard cheese is particularly good because it contains casein, a protein that helps strengthen tooth enamel, so reaching for the cheese board is an excellent way to end a meal. Besides plain water, milk is an excellent drink for teeth, containing plenty of calcium while helping to reduce acidity levels in the mouth and fighting tooth decay. Yoghurt contains probiotics and calcium, helping to protect against tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
Other foods you should include in your diet include lean proteins such as skinless poultry, fish and particularly oily fish high in omega 3, and other lean protein like beef. Beans and legumes are also good for teeth. When it comes to drinks, black and green tea and coffee contains polyphenols that help fight plaque bacteria, harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. However, plain water remains your best option for overall health. It helps wash away food particles and ensures you can produce plenty of saliva, maintaining a more neutral pH in your mouth more easily.
Which Food Is Bad for Teeth?
Bad food for teeth includes sticky candies. Sticky sweets are especially bad for your teeth because they remain stuck on teeth for longer and can be hard to brush away thoroughly. If you do want something sweet, choose a treat that melts quickly, like chocolate. Dark chocolate is a better option because it has some health benefits as it contains antioxidants.
Other foods that can damage your teeth include anything starchy like crisps, biscuits and bread. The starch in these foods is converted into sugar that feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth, creating acids that damage your tooth enamel. Soft drinks are bad for oral health because they often contain large amounts of sugar. Diet soft drinks are also bad for teeth because they contain citric acid and phosphoric acid that soften tooth enamel. It’s also worth being aware of foods, drinks and medication that can dry out your mouth. When your mouth is drier, it increases the risk of oral disease.
Tips for Oral Health
As a rule of thumb, if you want to have something bad for your teeth, try to include it as part of a main meal and avoid snacking on these foods. This is because when you enjoy it as part of a main meal, your mouth is already more acidic, and you will already be producing more saliva. It takes around half an hour to an hour after eating for acidity levels in your mouth to begin normalising. Therefore, the more frequently you snack on unhealthy foods, the longer your mouth remains acidic, and the greater the damage to your dental health.
After eating, try to rinse your mouth with water as this will help wash away loose particles of food and bacteria. Another tip is to chew sugar-free gum after a meal, as this helps promote saliva production and can help to wash away loose pieces of food from your mouth. Most importantly, make sure you have a regular dentist checkup at Tandara Dental Centre and don’t forget to schedule a professional teeth cleaning at the same time.
Professional Oral Health Maintenance at Your Dental Clinic in Gosnells
Professional preventive dental care has considerable oral health benefits, and one question we are often asked is how much does it cost to see the dentist? Dental checkups are very affordable, and if you have health insurance, the cost is most likely covered. When you come to see us, we can perform an annual teeth checkup to ensure you don’t have any signs of dental disease. If you have some ongoing dental concerns or other health issues, we may suggest seeing you more regularly than an annual dental appointment in Gosnells.
When you see our hygienist, they will clean your teeth professionally, which is a great preventive dental care treatment. If you have any signs of tooth decay and generally have a good oral care routine, we may review your dietary choices. It is often possible to determine if some foods could be causing oral health problems, and we can suggest some quick and easy ways to improve oral health. Our dental team find patient education very rewarding and would love to discuss the best food for teeth. We are sometimes asked what food makes your teeth white. While some foods, such as fibre-rich fruits and veggies, might remove some minor surface stains, none will really help to whiten your teeth significantly. If you are interested in a whiter smile, we can always discuss a professional teeth whitening treatment at our dental clinic in Gosnells.