Good And Bad Foods For Teeth
Good and bad foods for teeth.
There are certain foods to avoid if you want to be kind to your teeth; including sugary snacks such as sweets and fizzy drinks. But you might not know that there are also foods that are great for your teeth, as well as being good for your general health.
Let’s take a look at the food and drink you should limit in your diet and those that should fill up your shopping trolley for keeping the best oral health! Foods to avoid in large quantities
Although certain products like fruit juices may seem like a healthy option for your children, if they are consumed on a regular basis the high content of sugars can contribute to tooth decay, as well as have an impact on overall health. Here’s a list of foods and drinks that aren’t good for your teeth…
- Fizzy drinks like cola or lemonade
- Fruit juices
- Sugary cereals
- Dried fruits
- Acidic fruits like lemons or limes
- Sports or energy drinks
- Sugary spreads like jam and honey
Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce the harmful acids. So it is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. You can also try substituting sugary drinks with ‘safe’ drinks for your teeth, such as milk or water. Foods to stock up on
All antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, help to protect your gums as well as contributing to good general health. You can find these in lots of foods and drinks, including;
- green tea
- sweet potatoes
Foods high in calcium and other minerals such as magnesium, boron, zinc and phosphorous are also important in a balanced diet. Include these minerals in your diet by eating:
- Dairy products, such as cheese and milk
- Sesame seeds
Eating raw vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumber is a healthy way to snack. These snacks, as well as being part of your healthy “five a day”, won’t put your teeth at risk of decay.
Sticking to a balanced diet and cutting down snacking will benefit your oral health, but if you have any questions about how to keep your teeth in tip top condition, speak to your dentist and their team about which foods affect your teeth more than others and what you can do to take care of them.
Does eating certain food mean I need to brush for longer?
Some foods damage your teeth more than others which means you need to brush more thoroughly after eating.
- Candy and dried fruits stick to teeth and should be cleaned off carefully.
- Alcohol, soda and diet sodas can damage tooth enamel but wait 30 minutes before you brush.
- Simple carbs in white bread can cause plaque.
You should brush your teeth gently for 30 minutes after consuming these items.
Talk to your dentist if you need further advice.
“When consuming candy, drink water to help reduce damage to your tooth enamel.”
Foods May Crack Your Teeth
Biting down on hard foods can crack a tooth, particularly a tooth already weakened through tooth decay. Consult with your dentist if you think you have cracked a tooth.
Which foods are riskiest?
- Hard nuts like almonds should be eaten with care.
- You should never use your teeth to break open the shell.
- Sunflower seeds, popcorn kernels, olive and fruit pits can be very hard.
- Baguettes, biscotti and pretzels are also hard.
“If you’re worried about damaging your teeth on the pits of these fruits, you can always buy pitted olives, and you can slice fruits to ensure you won’t be biting into a hard pit and accidentally crack your teeth!”
Foods That Require Extra Flossing
Flossing immediately after eating some foods can prevent enamel damage from occurring.
- It is advisable to floss after eating sticky sugary foods such as toffee, caramel or popcorn to avoid build-up of plaque and damage to your protective enamel.
- Fruit and veg such as mango, pineapple, broccoli and spinach can also get caught between your teeth, although these aren’t as bad for your teeth.
- Broccoli florets are one of the worst culprits for getting in your teeth.
Your dentist will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.
Foods to Avoid To Protect Your Smile
Certain food types can be harmful to your teeth and cause problems ranging from enamel erosion to decay.
Here are the top three food types to avoid, or to eat in moderation:
- Caramels and frozen foods, because they can damage fillings or other dental work and can get between the teeth, causing cavities.
- Olives, nectarines, plums, and other foods that are not pitted, as you can easily bruise or chip your teeth biting into the pit.
- Hard breads, which can harm the gum tissue.
There are other foods that are best avoided – ask your dentist for details.
Foods You Should Eat When You First Have Dentures
It can take a little time to adapt to chewing with dentures. Your dentist can help advise you on the foods to eat when you first have dentures to replace missing teeth.
- Eat soft foods to begin with, such as scrambled eggs, soup, yoghurt and oatmeal.
- Avoid harder foods like apples, tougher meats and crusty loaves while adjusting to dentures.
- Regular check-ups with your dentist will help maintain your dentures and allow you to continue enjoying your favorite foods.
“Although it can be tempting to start eating all the foods you’ve missed as soon as you get your new dentures, it’s best to avoid eating any hard or tough foods while you’re still learning to eat with your full or partial denture.”