Are you taking care of your teeth? Yes, you should be brushing and flossing just as your dentist recommends but you could kick up your oral care a notch or two by picking the right foods for your teeth. Sensitivity to cold and hot foods is a warning sign that it might be time for a trip to the family dentist. You can minimize the hurt by focusing on the following food choices:
- Sugar-free Gum
The best way you can protect your teeth is to keep up the manufacturing of saliva. This is your body’s way of scrubbing off the acid that is formed by bacteria. Yes, your mouth is full of bacteria added by whatever you eat. Chewing on sugar-free gum will help keep the saliva flowing. That’s not gross but good! Opt for mint flavors as opposed to fruit because those are loaded with acids that can be bad for your teeth.
Calcium is good for your bones but also very good for your teeth. Inside every slice of cheese is a protein called casein. Dental research has shown that casein and calcium pack a potent one-two punch to help repair damaged tooth enamel. Plus, who doesn’t love a good piece of cheese?
- Leafy Vegetables
Did you eat your veggies today? High-fiber foods like spinach, kale and other leafy vegetables are good for your digestion and your cholesterol. Because you have to chew these more, they’re also good for your teeth because you’ll be making more saliva (see above). The chewed up leafs also act as kind of scrubbing aids much like a dog biscuit helps your pooch.
Not only do fresh strawberries taste awesome but they are chock full of malic acid. Don’t let the word “acid” scare you. This is a good acid that acts as a natural kind of teeth whitener. In fact, if you mash up a strawberry, mix it with baking soda and use that like toothpaste you’ll find you’ve got a very affordable way to whiten your smile.
On the other side of the dental coin are the kinds of foods that can actually do more harm than good. Consider the hidden “traps” in the following foods:
A majority of breads are full of sugar especially white breads. As you eat bread it can get sticky and land between your teeth where that sugar won’t do you any good.
What’s harmful about popcorn is not so much the corn itself but the corn that gets stuck in your teeth. Any piece of food that remains behind can irritate your gums and build up bacteria. That can lead to trouble down the line.
- Diet Soda
You might be doing your waist line a favor by drinking diet soda but you could be hurting your teeth. That’s because most diet sodas have a high acidity content that isn’t good for your teeth.
- Hard Candies
Yes, we know that have sugar and that is bad. What makes it worse is that you tend to hold onto a hard candy a lot longer in your mouth. This means that sugar has a great chance of attaching to your teeth and gums. Not good.
This doesn’t mean you have to ban those foods from your life. Just be aware of the potential harm they can cause. You can help by brushing after every meal. Continue to visit the Solana Family Dental website for more informational resources and tips on keeping your mouth healthy. To schedule an appointment with our team click here.
Your Solana Beach Family Dental office serves families in North San Diego County, including Solana Beach, Del Mar and Encinitas. The practice has hundreds of 5-star reviews and has been named Top Dentist in San Diego for two years in a row. Make an appointment now for every member of your family.
1. Learn to Brush and Floss Twice a Day, Every Day.
- Begin a baby’s dental program by wiping gums with a damp cloth after every feeding. Supervise each child’s brushing to ensure they are doing a good job.
- Gingivitis, a serious gum inflammation, is caused by plaque on the gums. Plaque is a hard shell made up of petrified bacteria. Gingivitis leads directly to tooth loss and infection.
- If gingivitis is not controlled, bacterial growth can enter the body directly from the mouth. Conditions such as trench mouth, bronchitis, pneumonia, heart attack and stroke — and even more serious diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer disease and dementia — can count mouth bacteria as a measurable cause.
2. Eat and Drink to Help Your Teeth.
- A serious dental condition called “bottle mouth,” is caused by putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugars in the bottle stay on the teeth and gums while sleeping. The resulting bacteria and plaque can cause significant decay to babies and toddlers. Only water should be given to babies before they sleep.
- Some foods begin their destructive ways the second they hit the mouth. Bacteria present in the mouth convert sugars from foods like fruits and candy into acids that attack the enamel on the teeth.
- Eat foods like calcium-rich cheeses, meats, nuts, milk, fruits and vegetables.
3. Tooth Scaling Saves Teeth.
- Plaque on the teeth is a hard, cement-like substance that can no longer be brushed away. It must be literally chipped off.
- Tooth scaling — the scraping of plaque from the teeth — by a dentist or dental hygienist can prevent heart attacks and strokes. In fact, the chance of heart attacks and strokes has been shown in large studies to be reduced by one-third if scaling is done at least once a year.
4. Consult Your Solana Beach Family Dental Office Twice a Year.
- Everyone needs to see a family dentist twice a year starting at the first birthday. There are many dental problems particular to infants and toddlers.
- There are safe plastic sealants available that the dentist can apply to children’s newly erupted permanent teeth without cavities or fillings. The sealant keeps food particles from penetrating to the tooth.
Most people think about visiting a dentist regularly to find cavities or when in dental pain. The dentist will be able to see developing problems that can be taken care of while they are still small. Yearly dental visits are probably the best indicators of retaining teeth into old age. Call Solana Beach Family Dental to schedule your family’s appointments.