The Foods We Should (and Shouldn’t) Eat For Our Dental Health
“Go ahead and eat sugary, acidic foods,” says no dentist ever… and for good reason! The foods and drinks that we consume on a daily basis have a very real link to our dental health; and those foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches have been known to break down valuable tooth enamel leaving us vulnerable to tooth decay.
Your team at Downtown Whitby Dentistry has put together the following list of dos and don’ts for your food and drink choices.
- Sticky & Sweet: Foods such as toffee and even dried-fruits act as a glue, keeping bacteria attached to your teeth for long periods of time
- Hard Candy: Do we need to say more
- Citrus: While loaded with vitamins and minerals that we love, we don’t love the impact the acid in these fruits has on your teeth. Acid erodes enamel leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay and cavities
- Alcohol: Reduces your mouth’s ability to produce saliva (read more about the important role saliva plays below)
- Bread: This one is sneaky… your saliva actually breaks down the bread’s natural starches into sugar
- Potato Chips: Sorry about this one, but like bread, potato chips are loaded with starch that can become trapped between teeth, feeding the bacteria that lives there
It’s important to note that many of the items on the AVOID list are there because of their negative impact on your mouth’s ability to produce saliva, according to our dentist in Whitby. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth, while naturally removing food particles. Your natural saliva production is another reason we recommend waiting at least half an hour after you eat to brush your teeth… let the saliva do the work.
As important as the foods we should avoid, are the foods we should go ahead and enjoy. Our family dentist in Whitby suggests foods loaded with calcium, Vitamins A, C and D, Omega-3 fats and Fluoride, such as:
- Water: Water naturally and gently rinses food particles from your teeth and dilutes any acid in your mouth while also increasing the production of saliva. We can’t think of a more perfect drink for your oral, and overall, health
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts, especially almonds, are great sources of calcium and protein while being low in sugar
- Carrots, Celery: Fruits and vegetables with a crunch increase the flow of saliva; however, try to select low-acidic fruits and vegetables as acid erodes your tooth’s natural enamel
- Yogurt & Cheese: Great sources of calcium and protein, both proven to strengthen your tooth enamel
- Leafy Greens: Just plain good… loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and calcium (hint: there is a reason they appear on every “should eat” list you read)
There are obviously more foods and drinks that our Downtown Whitby Dentistry team could have added to both lists, but you get the idea of what we look for in those foods we love and those we want you to avoid. Now go ahead and make good choices.
If you want a team that cares about your dental health as much as you do, give Downtown Whitby Dentistry a call at Call 905-430-7045. We are a family dental practice in Whitby that treats people of all ages.