Prevention is always the best medicine for your smile and while it’s true that fillings, crowns, and professional whitening can make your teeth stronger and more radiant, it’s better to avoid cavities and stains in the first place. Brushing, flossing and visiting us for a cleaning/exam twice a year is a great start. In addition, you should always make sure you’re eating right. What you put in your mouth can impact your oral health in a big way. Let’s take a look at some of the best– and worst offenders.
Eating apples takes some serious chewing skills to break them down. As a result, the chewing works as a cleaning mechanism by uprooting dental plaque. Instead of remaining in your mouth and settling on your teeth, the bacteria gets washed away.
The calcium in cheese is great for your teeth because it helps to protect your tooth enamel by providing calcium and phosphorus that help to remineralize your teeth. It’s also been found to help neutralize plaque.
Chewing sugar-free gum helps to clean your teeth by stimulating the production of saliva. Saliva is nature’s way of washing away acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. It also bathes your teeth in bone-strengthening calcium and phosphate.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers found that drinking a glass of milk after eating sugary foods, lowered levels of acid in the mouth more than drinking water. This is because milk neutralizes some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria. In addition, the calcium helps to protect your teeth against gum disease, along with keeping your jaw bone strong and healthy.
Acid is essential to the pickling process and it’s what gives pickles their sour, salty taste. Unfortunately, it’s also what makes them harmful to your tooth enamel. A study conducted in 2004 found that eating pickles more than once a day increased the participants odds of tooth wear by about 85%. Having them on occasion is okay, but don’t make them an everyday snack.
The stickier the candy, the worse it tends to be for your teeth. Chewy candies, like taffy and caramels, stick between your teeth for a long time– and allow the bacteria in your mouth to feed on the deposited sugar. Hard candy dissolves slowly and immerses your mouth in sugar for several minutes at a time, which gives bacteria more time to produce acid. In addition, if you bite down on hard candies– they can break your teeth.
It’s no secret that drinking too many sugary sodas can cause cavities. However, the acid found in carbonated soft drinks can harm your teeth even more than the sugar. You can indulge once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.
Drinking tea frequently can cause your teeth to stain. Some experts even think tea is worse than coffee when it comes to staining your teeth. Like red wine, black teas tend to have a high tannin content, which promotes staining. Try and use a straw whenever possible to avoid it.
Just do it!
As a general rule, always stick to foods that are high in calcium and protein, and stay away from things that are highly acidic and full of sugar. If you eat right, we bet you’ll notice a difference in the strength and health of your pearly whites.
At the Lafayette Dentist office of John C. Theriot, DDS and Associates, we love caring for your smile. In fact, our staff has earned a reputation for providing a warm, comfortable, and relaxing experience to our guests. Our goal is to provide you the best dental care in Lafayette.