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The Impact of Diet on Your Teeth: Best and Worst Foods & Drinks

The Impact of Diet on Your Teeth: Best and Worst Foods & Drinks

While brushing is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile, many individuals overlook the significance of their diet. Certain foods, particularly those high in sugar, can be detrimental to teeth as they contribute to the development of tooth decay. It is important to explore the foods that are beneficial and harmful to dental health, enabling you to make more informed decisions for the overall well-being of your oral cavity.

Foods & Drinks that are GOOD for your Teeth

Water: Saliva is basically your teeth’s natural lubricant and its main task is ‘’washing’’ your teeth.  Like your saliva, water washes the acid and sugars off your teeth. Water is actually the best drink for your health in general.

Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt stimulate saliva production, while also offering the benefits of calcium in cheese and phosphates in milk.   These components aid in the replenishment of essential minerals in your teeth that may have been lost due to the consumption of other foods.

Green Tea: Dark teas contain tannins, which can cause stains. Green tea, on the other hand, contains polyphenols that interact with the bacteria-induced plaque. The polyphenols kill or hold back the bacteria, and this prevents the growth or production of teeth-attacking acid.

Green, Leafy Vegetables
There are some leafy veggies, such as spinach, that require you to chew more, which produces more saliva.

Give our friendly staff a call! We’d love to help you walk through this huge decision.

Foods & Drinks that are BAD for your Teeth

Sugary Foods: Sticky candies and sweets such as lollipops, caramels, jelly beans, and hard candies stay in your mouth for quite a while, making it harder for your saliva to wash away the sugar. If you love candy, choose those that clear out of your mouth quickly.  If you have a fondness for candy, pies, cookies, and other indulgent delights, it’s important to be aware that they can have detrimental effects on the health of your teeth and gums. These sugary treats have the potential to promote bacterial growth, ultimately resulting in tooth decay and gum disease.

Fizzy Drinks: Fizzy drinks, or carbonated soft drinks, are loaded with sugar- a single can of non-diet fizzy drinks can contain up to ten teaspoons of sugar-.   These drinks are the leading source of added sugar among kids and teens and can cause the worst dental erosion.
Don’t think you’re safe with the diet ones! Diet fizzy drinks can lead to staining and yellowing our teeth, as they have phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel. Weakened enamel is more susceptible to staining.

Crisps and Snacks Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth, such as soft bread and potato chips, can get trapped between your teeth. This causes the acid-producing bacteria responsible for attacking your teeth to increase, increasing your risk of tooth decay. The starch in crisps turns into sugar, which gets trapped in between your teeth, feeding plaque and bacteria. This ultimately leads to tooth decay. Moreover, saliva prevents food from getting stuck on your teeth, and crisps dry out your mouth. This prevents saliva from doing its job.

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are acidic and sugary, which may lead to erosion and cavities. These drinks tend to be thick, which causes the liquid to stick to your teeth, giving the oral bacteria more acid, and making tooth decay highly possible. Furthermore, it is worth noting that these treats can also discolor your teeth as a result of the vibrant dye they contain.

When you eat or drink a lot of citrus, the acid can wear away the enamel of your teeth, which makes them more vulnerable to bacteria and cavities.
Moreover, erosion, which is the demineralization of the hard tooth surface, can lead to tooth decay. Repeated consumption of acidic foods can cause irritation and visible sores along the gum line.

Coffee & Tea
If you drink several cups of coffee and tea per day, there’s a chance your teeth will get stained, and you might be drying your mouth.
These drinks also serve as a helper for mouth bacteria, which create acids that result in enamel and tooth erosion, causing your teeth to become brittle and thin.
If you are a regular coffee and tea consumer, make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary add-ins as much as possible.

How to Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay from the Foods You Eat and Drink:

  • Drink more water to wash down acidic foods and beverages.
  • Drink with a straw to reduce the amount of contact between your teeth and acidic drinks.
  • During meals, your mouth generates a greater amount of saliva, which aids in minimizing the impact of acid production and effectively washing away food particles from the oral cavity. So, if you want to eat sugary or acidic foods, do it with meals.
  • Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating. Brushing right after a meal or beverage can potentially harm your teeth because the acid present in your mouth softens the enamel.
  • Brushing too soon can accelerate the occurrence of damage. It is recommended to wait a minimum of 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day.

Contact Altura Periodontics today! Schedule a consult and we will create a treatment plan customized to your needs.