Looking at some of those tasty desserts in the store makes them almost irresistible. It is nearly impossible to say no to your sweet tooth – especially when you walk past the bakery section in the store. Unfortunately, you also know that having a sweet tooth is not suitable for your healthy teeth or your waistline. What you and many others want to know is how can you satisfy a sweet tooth and still avoid having to see a dentist for it.
Best Food for Maintaining Healthy Teeth
There are several great foods for your teeth. Among the best are:
If you love cheese, now you have an excuse to eat more. Cheese has been found to raise the pH levels in your mouth, which makes it healthier, the American Academy of General Dentistry reported. When the pH level is lower than 5.5, tooth erosion is much more likely to take place. Higher levels provide greater protection for your teeth. It is also high in protein and calcium, which makes it an excellent food for healthy teeth and bones. Processed cheese does not produce the same results.
Yogurt has similar results as cheese, due to the probiotics in them. The live culture of good bacteria is capable of further restricting the harmful bacteria in your mouth, making it an excellent food for healthy teeth and gums. It is also a good source of calcium and protein. Be sure to choose a variety that does not have any added sugar.
Although apples do have sugar in them, the benefit obtained from eating them is excellent, as long as you are still brushing and flossing regularly. Apples contain a lot of fiber, and because they are a harder fruit, they clean your teeth while eating them. Eating them also produces saliva, which will reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
Fish will provide you with two omega-3 fish oils: DHA and EPA. These oils will help to reduce the risk of periodontitis, reports the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. They also contain vitamin D, which is capable of reducing your risk of tooth decay by 50 percent.
Leafy greens have so many nutrients and vitamins in them that you can almost expect them to be in this list of healthy foods. Another benefit is that they do not have many calories. They contain a lot of calcium and folic acid. Among the items in this category, you will find collard greens, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, spinach, and more.
When it comes to sugars and teeth, this one beats them all. It is a natural sugar that is low in calories. It stimulates saliva production and reduces the risk of cavities. After the harmful bacteria in your mouth absorb xylitol, it is unable to reproduce, produce any acid, and it cannot even stick to your teeth, say the Cleveland Clinic.
These small red fruits have been found to have similar effects as xylitol, which makes it an excellent food for teeth. Eating them can stop the harmful bacteria in your mouth from clinging to your teeth, which will prevent plaque from forming. Most cranberry products, however, do contain a lot of sugar in them.
Foods Harmful for Your Teeth
Sodas and Fruit Drinks
These popular drinks are very harmful to teeth. The high amounts of sugar – nine teaspoons in a single can of Coke – promote bacterial growth. This bacterium harms your teeth, and the acid helps erode your tooth’s enamel.
The popular thinking is that since a portion of food does not contain sugar that it must be good or at least OK for the teeth. This is not true. Instead of providing the same sugars and acids that are found in sodas and fruit drinks, the artificial sweeteners have their own acids that can damage your teeth just as much. When you want to keep healthy teeth, artificial sweeteners are not the answer.
Another reason to avoid artificial sugars is that it can lead to weight gain. So, if you want to know the best food for healthy teeth, you will need to skip the ones with fake sugars. Gum made with it is OK, however, because it will generate a lot of salivae – which is healthy for your teeth.
Rinse with Water after Eating
When you do eat sweets, it is never a good idea to leave all that sugar in your mouth for long periods of time. Brushing right after you eat is not a good idea either, because the enamel on your teeth is likely softer, and brushing can damage it. It is best to wait about 20 minutes before brushing. Rinsing your mouth out with water is a good idea after eating sugary foods or drinks.
You can find quality dental care in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas by visiting the office of Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He has been practicing for years and performs most forms of general and cosmetic dentistry to help patients maintain healthy teeth.