You’re doubtless familiar with a lot of the common dental advice: brush twice a day, make sure to floss, etc. What you may not realize is how much your diet affects your teeth. Even the most diligent hygiene routine in the world can’t really make up for a bad diet when it comes to a healthy mouth. For a beautiful, long-lasting smile, here are a few tips for a mouth-friendly diet.
Avoid Sugary Candy and Drinks
Sugar is the enemy of any mouth. Bacteria are what cause tooth decay, and those bacteria feed on sugar, so a very sugary diet can lead to tooth decay and even loss. This isn’t to say that sugary foods and drinks aren’t ok in moderation; an occasional sweet treat won’t do you any harm. After eating something sugary, however, it is important to clean your mouth. In a pinch, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum can help wash residual sugars out of your mouth. If you can, however, it is always best to brush your teeth for a truly clean mouth.
You may be surprised to learn that fruit actually isn’t a great option for healthy teeth. Your doctor may recommend fruit because it is rich in nutrients. This is true, but unfortunately it is often also rich in sugar. The sugars in fruit can do just as much to speed tooth decay as any candy.
Enjoy Dairy Products
You probably know that calcium builds strong bones. It builds strong teeth, too! Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich sources of calcium and a great mouth-healthy choice. Dairy products are also rich in protein, an essential nutrient for strong enamel. Cultured dairy such as yogurt can give an extra benefit, too, in the form of bacteria. It may sound counterintuitive but the probiotic nature of cultured foods helps good bacteria to crowd out bad decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.
Eat Mineral-Rich Vegetables
Minerals strengthen your teeth from the inside-out, and vegetables are your best source of the nutrients you need. Look especially for leafy greens. Greens such as spinach are rich in folic acid, a nutrient that has been shown to reduce tooth decay, as well as calcium. Another good option is crunchy vegetables such as carrots and celery. These vegetables have a high water content to help wash your mouth free of bacteria. Their crunchy texture also works almost like a toothbrush, scraping your teeth clean as you chew. Even though they are sugary, apples actually work the same way. They can be a great option if you are looking for a guilt-free sweet snack!
Schedule an Appointment
Do you have questions about how best to take care of your mouth? At Sudbury Dental Arts, Dr. Joseph Cheung and our whole staff make an effort to get to know our patients. We are happy to make individualized recommendationsabout how to give your smile the best possible care. To learn more about your dental needs, schedule an appointment online or at (978) 218-2580.