Best & Worst Foods for TeethAugust 31, 2019 6:17 pm
It can feel overwhelming when trying to make the right decisions when it comes to your family’s diet. But our team at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is here to help you maintain great overall health! Here, we’ll talk about some of the best and worst foods for healthy mouths.
Very Good for Teeth!
A wide variety of nutrient-rich vegetables are essential for reducing inflammation and promoting both good overall health and oral health. Additionally, the simple act of chewing raw vegetables, like celery, jicama, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers, helps to stimulate circulation in your gums and the production of saliva, which flushes away bad bacteria and food particles stuck to your teeth.
Yogurt & Cheese
These dairy products are terrific for your oral health! High in calcium, phosphorus, and protein, yogurt and cheese help fortify tooth enamel. Chewing cheese can also increase salivary flow and raise the pH level in your mouth to create a more hostile environment for bacteria. This means a lower risk of tooth decay. Meanwhile, yogurt has probiotics, or good bacteria, that can reduce the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth, again lowering your risk of tooth decay. But be sure to only choose yogurt varieties that are low in sugar and to avoid heavily processed cheese and cheese in a can.
Not So Good for Teeth…
This is probably the most well known food that is bad for teeth. Whether it’s chewy or hard, sour or sweet, candy is one of the worst foods for your teeth because the sugar in candy feeds your bad oral bacteria, which in turn produces damaging acids. These acids then wear away at your teeth’s enamel and cause tooth decay. Hard candies are also a problem because they can crack or break a tooth. Chewy candies can get stuck in between your teeth, allowing that sugar to linger long after you’ve finished your treat. A high consumption of candy will cause a greater accumulation of plaque, which increases your risk of decay, cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. For kiddos with a big sweet tooth, encourage them to eat a few pieces of dark chocolate instead. It’s soft and washes away easily.
Potato Chips & Popcorn
Popcorn kernels tend to get stuck in between teeth and under the gumline, leading to painful toothaches. And potato chips are refined starches that easily break down into sugar that fuels bacteria. Well-fed bacteria accumulate into plaque. The more plaque, the more enamel-destroying acids produced. Plaque also irritates and inflames gums.
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