Much like the rest of the body, our teeth also need healthy foods to stay in good health. Avoid foods that are high in sugar such as candies and other sweet treats. These foods increase the risk of tooth decay. Instead, choose foods that are nutritious such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products.
The number of times we eat in a day also plays a factor to our risk of tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Over time, the enamel can break down and cause cavities in your teeth.
Try to limit snacks to no more than three times per day and rinse your mouth each time to clear food off from your teeth. When snacking, choose healthier options like unsalted and unsweetened foods, fruits, nuts, seeds etc.
If you wear braces, your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.
Healthy Drinks for Healthy Teeth
What you drink is as important as what you eat. Drinking water is one of the easiest thing you can do to help prevent cavities. Juice, soda or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away the tooth enamel, the outer shell of your teeth. Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and sugar.
Stay well hydrated by drinking at least 10 cups (8 oz. cups) of water every day. Choose safe tap water over bottled water. Your tap water might contain a mineral called fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay. Click here to learn more about your city’s tap waters safety and fluoride facts.
Milk contains calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients help build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Other milk choices include soy milk or plant-based milk products such as almond milk, which are fortified with calcium.