What you eat directly affects the health of your teeth and gums. You know the dangers of eating too much sugar, but what other kinds of food should you avoid? And which should you eat more of? Here are the best and worst foods for your mouth, according to Yale Medical Group:
● Fruits and vegetables filled with fiber. These stimulate saliva flow, which helps neutralize decay-causing acids.
● Cheese and other dairy products. Just like fiber-rich fruits and veggies, cheese also helps stimulate saliva flow and protect the teeth. Plus, the calcium found in dairy products keeps your teeth strong.
● Green and black tea. The polyphenols in tea help kill bacteria in your mouth.
● Sugar-free gum. A great way to increase production of saliva.
● Foods and beverages with fluoride. Depending on your water source, you may have fluoride right in your water. You can also find it in other foods, including some poultry products, seafood and powdered cereals.
● Sticky candies and other sugary foods that linger in your mouth. Because they stay on your teeth longer, gummy and taffy-like candies are some of the worst offenders.
● Starchy, carbohydrate-rich foods that linger in your mouth. Someone who frequently eats potato chips or even bread is at higher risk for tooth decay because these foods often stay trapped between teeth, creating a prime place for bacteria to feed.
● Soft drinks. Most soft drinks have huge amounts of sugar that can cause tooth decay. In addition, most of these drinks also have acids that erode a person’s enamel.
● Sugary drinks in general. It’s easy to forget how much sugar is found in sports drinks, sweetened tea and lemonade, and even fruit juices. Always read the label and monitor your sugar intake.
● Highly acidic foods like lemons. While it’s OK to eat lemons, researchers note that sucking on them allows the acid to erode your enamel.
For more information about foods that either promote or damage a healthy mouth, consult your True Care Advantage discount dental plan dentist. He or she can talk with you about your diet and give you tips to keep your stomach full and your teeth strong.