The Best (And Worst) Foods for Dental Health

The best way to have great teeth is to eat healthy foods, brush your teeth and floss regularly. But are some foods better for your teeth than others? And which foods are bad for your dental health? The answers may surprise you.

Good: Dairy Products

Dairy products contain healthy amounts of protein and calcium. These key ingredients keep teeth strong and build enamel. Eating cheese and drinking milk are good ways to keep your teeth strong.

Bad: Sugar and Candy

Everyone knows that sugar and candy are not good for your teeth. Chewy candies that are sour are both acidic and harmful to the teeth. While it is hard to give up sweets permanently, limit the amount of sugar based food and drinks you consume, and brush your teeth after eating them.

Good: Sugarless Gum

Sugarless gum is a great choice for your teeth. While it is not exactly a food, chewing a piece of sugarless gum can help keep your breath fresh in between brushings and stave off cravings for sweets. Chewing sugarless gum also encourages the production of saliva, which keeps teeth clean. Choose a mint-flavored gum, since some fruit flavors can cause tooth decay.

Bad: Stains

Anything that will stain the enamel of your teeth is bad for them. Anything that will cause a stain on your clothing if you spill will also cause staining on your teeth. Tea, wine, and coffee are three of the biggest culprits for staining teeth.

Good: Water

Water is good for your entire body, but definitely helps keep teeth healthy. Drinking water flushes acid and debris out from the teeth and gums, keeping them cleaner. And water won’t leave stains on your teeth like soda, coffee, and tea might.

Bad: Acidic Foods

Eating citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit are an important way to get essential vitamins like vitamin C. But lemons and grapefruit are highly acidic. A specialist from Kenai Dental Clinic says consuming lemons, grapefruit or other citrus juices in large quantities can cause the acid in these to eat away at tooth enamel. Should you totally avoid citrus fruit to protect your teeth? No, but eating lemons and grapefruit or can damage the enamel on your teeth over time.

Good: High-Fiber Foods

Eating foods high in fiber keeps the mouth and teeth clean. The fiber content in the food causes you to salivate, which keeps your teeth clean. Fiber also cleans the teeth by clearing out the spaces between individual teeth while chewing.

You don’t have to give up all the “bad” foods on this list–instead, try brushing after consuming any tooth-endangering food. Ideally, you should brush after every meal, but this is often inconvenient and impractical. Focus on getting a healthy amount of all the “good” foods in your diet and reducing your consumption of damaging foods and you’ll be on your way to healthier, stronger teeth.

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