What Foods are Good for Your Teeth?
You already know that brushing, flossing and regular cleanings are important if you want healthy teeth. But did you know that what you eat has an impact on your dental health, too? Here are 4 foods that are good for your teeth.
Crispy, raw vegetables are great for your teeth. They’re full of fiber, so you have to chew them vigorously, which increases saliva. Saliva neutralizes the acid that builds up in your mouth and also provides calcium and phosphate which helps add more minerals to your enamel. Vegetables in a rainbow of colors—from dark purple eggplants to bright orange peppers, are just all-around healthy foods for your body. The nutrients they provide help build healthy cells—which includes the cells in your gums and teeth. The best raw veggie for your teeth? Celery. It’s stringy fibers help clean your teeth while you chew.
Some raw fruits, such as apples, are good for your teeth for the same reasons as veggies—their fibrous flesh makes you chew more, increasing saliva in your mouth. Fruits also provide nutrients and vitamins that keep you healthy overall. In particular, pears have been found to be great for your teeth. One study showed that pears have the most neutralizing affect on plaque of all fruits.
One caveat: stay away from dried fruit. It has a high sugar content and is sticky, which can actually cause tooth decay.
Cheese is low in sugar and high in calcium, making it a great food for your teeth. It also has low acid content. The casein protein in cheese is particularly good for rebuilding tooth enamel.
Most cheeses are fairly high in fat, so don’t go overboard or you’ll have other adverse health effects. Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses are both good choices.
Like cheese, yogurt is full of great proteins and low in sugar and acids, as long as you avoid yogurts with added sugar. Yogurt also has the benefit of acting as a probiotic.
Foods that are bad for your teeth
In addition to eating the good stuff, you should avoid the bad stuff. Some foods have a particularly negative effect on your dental health.
Sugary foods and beverages interact with the plaque in your mouth and the result is acid that breaks down the enamel on your teeth. The effect can last for up to 20 minutes after you eat. Sticky sweets, like caramels or taffy are even worse, because the food itself sticks to your teeth, prolonging the contact with plaque.