Best and Worst Foods for Teeth

Biting an appleHow Does Food Affect Dental Health?

Food has a critical role when it comes to dental health. Bacteria in food can surface the teeth and will gradually penetrate the enamel, causing decay.

Many other foods pose specific caution to teeth. It is vital to brush and floss on a daily basis to protect your dental health.

Are Acidic Foods Bad for Teeth?

Acidic foods cause a temporary weakening of enamel on your teeth. For best results, you should not brush your teeth immediately, this can damage the enamel in its weakened state. It is best to wait about 30 minutes before you clean your teeth.

However, there is no reason to avoid acidic foods as a general rule. As long as you remember to brush your teeth soon after your meal, you can enjoy foods such as citrus, coffee, nuts, dairy, and salt.

What Are the Worst Foods/Drinks for Teeth & Gums?

Sugary and acidic foods have the potential to produce the most damage to teeth. Most dentists recommend patients avoid traditional chewing gum and substitute sugarless gum, such as xylitol-based gum, instead.

On a daily basis, most enamel damage most likely comes from beverages such as:

  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Orange Juice

You should also be alert to the concerns posed by “dark-colored” foods and beverages. Items like strawberries and blueberries, which are otherwise very healthy, can cause superficial stains on the teeth.

What Are the Best Foods/Drinks for Teeth & Gums?

In general, high-calcium dairy foods are best for dental health when it comes to direct contact with teeth. Milk protects tooth enamel, which is partly composed of calcium. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and lettuce are great for teeth. So are apples, almonds, carrots, and celery. In addition to calcium, protein is valuable for both teeth and gums. In general, if you are following a balanced and nutritious diet, you are also supporting the well-being of your teeth.

How to Prevent Teeth Damage Caused by Food Habits?

If you want to minimize enamel damage while still enjoying your favorite beverages, consider drinking them through a straw. This will bypass any worries about their acidic content harming your teeth.

How Do I Maintain My Dental Health?

The most important way to maintain your dental health is to brush and floss regularly. You should brush once in the morning and once in the evening, as well as occasionally throughout the day after you eat. This prevents bacterial colonization that leads to tooth decay. It’s also important to schedule your dental visits for regular cleanings.

To learn more about what kinds of foods may damage your teeth, make an appointment today or call our office at 860-667-2600. At Cedar Mountain Dental, our team is committed to providing high-quality care for all your dental needs.