What Are the Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

August 24, 2015

Everybody wants a perfect smile. And the best smile is not just about shiny and big teeth – it is about paying special attention not only to care, but also to prevention and the things we eat.

They say that sugar is the top killer of teeth, which creates cavities easily, but what people do not know is that sugar is not all that bad. In fact, what actually kills teeth is the excessive use of some foods.

On the other hand, there are some foods that are really good for the health of your teeth, so you should make sure to have them on your menu during every meal.

In the following few paragraphs we will present the best and worst foods for your teeth, so that you can take care of them even before you see your dentist’s.

The Baddies

Young man is showing his dirty teeth with plaque buildup

We were all taught that sugar and candies are not good for your teeth, but there are some foods that are good for your general health – but not so good for your teeth. Here they are

  • Citrus fruit – even though citrus fruit, such as lemon and grapefruit, are the best source of vitamin C – the vitamin which is responsible for keeping you healthy and without catching a cold during the winter months – citrus fruit juice can actually destroy your enamel over time. A study conducted in 2008 proved that lemon and grapefruit juices destroyed teeth the most, whereas orange juice destroyed it the least. Of course, we do not recommend you avoid these juices completely – just to pay more attention to dental hygiene afterwards. This means brushing and flossing your teeth after you drink them.
  • Chewy candy – well, this is probably no surprise. The chewier the candy, the worse it will stick to your teeth. Taffies and caramels stick to your teeth for a long time, which allows bacteria in your mouth to multiply and damage your teeth enamel, thus causing cavities and severe pain. Pay special attention to sour and acidic chewy candies, because they are the worst combination possible. Hard candy is no exception either, so make sure you brush your teeth after you have them.
  • Soda – this is no surprise either. Sodas are extremely rich in sugar, but they can harm your teeth even more due to the fact that they contain acids which can create cavities and erode enamel. Even sugar-free soft drinks, since they contain phosphoric and citric acids, which are top enemies of your teeth.
  • Pickles – the process of pickling includes the usage of acid (usually vinegar acid), and this is one of the main causes for tooth decay, a study showed. It also suggested that eating them more than once a day will increase the odds of your teeth wearing out by 85%.

The Goodies

Healthy woman teeth and a dentist mouth mirror

However, not all is lost. Stains caused from coffee, black tea and other soft drinks and sugar can easily be prevented.

What you can do is to try to change your diet – replace candy with vegetables, fruit, and try drinking herbal teas instead of black tea or coffee. They are not only healthier, but will also make a better impact on your teeth. Here are some other things you can try out to protect your teeth:

  • Water – this is no surprise: water is good for your general health. It can help wash away sugars and acid off your teeth, so if you do not have a toothbrush near you, you can drink water and wash those baddies away.
  • Dairy – dairy products and milk are rich in calcium, so make sure your diet is full of them and your teeth will be thankful. Calcium strengthens not only your bones, but also your tooth enamel. Cheese also contains casein, a protein which is responsible for repairing and stabilising enamel, a study.
  • Sugarless gum – if you do not have water or toothpaste near you, sugarless gum can help you. In a recent talk with a renowned orthodontist in Sydney we have found out that sugar-free gums stimulate the production of saliva, thus washing away acids off your teeth and preventing bacteria from spreading all over your mouth. Some gums even have xylitol, which is responsible for the reduction of bacteria. However, make sure that the gums you are chewing are not acidic, since those can damage your teeth, but have an additional positive trait – they cause the production of saliva, which is, as it was earlier mentioned, the most natural way of washing your teeth.

And finally, they say that prevention is the best cure, so enjoy while you can and try to take care of your teeth for as long as you can. It is up to you to avoid problems and make that smile bright and healthy for many years to come. And of course, if you would like to add anything, feel free to leave your comment in the section below.


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