Food friends and foes
Who doesn’t love sweets and desserts? Certainly the bacteria in our mouths do! Of course there’s nothing wrong with a little treat, but too much starch and sugar in your diet will lead to greater plaque build-up and metabolizes the sugar to produce acids, which contributes to tooth decay.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious and healthy food options that help fight plaque. Let’s take a look at the food groups and nutrients that are friendly to your teeth.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, are a great source of calcium, which strengthens the tooth enamel. And if you’re not a fan of dairy products you can always opt for almonds, broccoli, Brazil nuts, bok choy, and dried beans, which are also naturally high in calcium.
Snacks rich in sugar
Try to avoid sticky sweets, as harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on these sugars and produce acids that destroy your tooth enamel. Naturally sweet foods are a great way to control your sweet tooth.
Citrus fruit and juices are a great source of vitamins, but not all healthy food is good for your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon are highly acidic and can damage your tooth enamel. Consume in moderation and rinse your mouth with plenty of water afterwards.
Starchy, refined carbohydrates
Crackers, bread and pasta that are made with processed white flour are almost as bad for your oral health as sugary foods, because starch breaks down to simple sugars, which harmful bacteria feast on. Instead opt for whole grain flour products, which are packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants.
Carbonated soft drinks
Not only are they loaded with sugar, but they’re also full of phosphorous phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel, so make an effort to cut down on soft drinks.
Not only is alcohol bad for your overall health, but it also leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Alcohol causes dehydration, slowing down the production of saliva, which is necessary for regulating the bacteria in the mouth.
It’s natural to give in to treats and sweet cravings every now and then, but make sure you stick to regular brushing, flossing and rinsing every day, to keep the bacteria at bay and enjoy healthier smiles.
Calcium strengthens the tooth enamel. If you’re lactose-intolerant, opt for almonds, broccoli, and dried beans, which are high in calcium.
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