What you eat is an important decision that affects your health in many ways. In order to keep your body strong and protect the health of your teeth, proper eating habits are vital. The food you put into your body today will impact how your smile will look down the road. There is lots of food that is fantastic for your dental health and there is also some food that you should avoid. Here are some crucial steps you can take to optimize your diet and protect your teeth.
What to Eat
A healthy diet has many factors and what works for one person may not work for the next. With all the options available, it can be difficult to find the food that is best for your smile. Here are a couple of helpful tips for planning your next meal.
Your teeth need lots of calcium to stay healthy and strong. In fact, adults aged 19-50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. There are many foods that are rich in calcium. With 276 milligrams per cup, milk is an excellent source of your daily calcium. You don’t have to just rely on milk either, because cheese and yogurt are great options to get the daily recommended calcium into your diet.
Dairy foods are not the only source of calcium either. For example, kale has 101 milligrams per serving and collard greens have 84 milligrams. Other sources include broccoli which has 70 milligrams and a small orange which has 38 milligrams. No matter your diet, there are fantastic options to get the calcium you need.
While candy is harmful to your smile, most sugar-free gum can actually help it. Gum sweetened with xylitol has even been found to reduce dental decay by as much as 70 percent in children. When you chew gum, it causes your mouth to salivate and helps wash away acidic food and drinks after a meal. Although it is by no means a replacement for dental hygiene, it can help keep your smile healthy and your breath fresh.
What Not to Eat
There are foods you should watch out for in order to keep your teeth happy and healthy. Eating these foods in moderation and practicing diligent oral hygiene will ensure your smile will shine for years to come.
Food That Gets Stuck in Your Teeth
Some food has a tendency to get stuck in between your teeth. When this happens, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease to develop. Candies that are chewy and sticky are some of the worst offenders in this category. They love to stick around and when combined with sugar they can really wreak havoc on your teeth.
Healthy foods like raspberries also have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. Although they are rich in antioxidants, their tiny seeds get stuck easily. This is why daily flossing is essential.
Many starchy foods like potato chips and white bread are just as bad as candy in many ways and easily get stuck in your smile. Since they are a simple carbohydrate, they easily break down into sugar that acid-producing bacteria love to eat. To enjoy these foods with confidence, rinse with water after eating them to dislodge anything stuck to your teeth.
Sugary and Acidic Foods
Although too much sugar is bad for your overall health, it can be especially ruinous for your smile. Sugar itself doesn’t attack your teeth, it is the bacteria that feed on the sugar that does the damage. They convert the sugar into lactic acid which causes tooth decay.
Acidic food and drinks like soda attack your teeth in a similar way to lactic acid from bacteria, and when they are both acidic and full of sugar, they do double damage to your smile. That said, this doesn’t make all acidic food inherently bad.
When you do consume healthy acidic foods such as oranges, eat them with the rest of your meal instead of as a snack by themselves. This will help to wash away the citric acid from your teeth and protect your smile.
Visit Our Waterloo Office Today
We are here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Dr. Ashraf offers a number of services including family, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry to restore the smiles of our patients. Call us today to schedule your next visit.