How Food Affects Your Teeth
The food that you eat can have a big impact on your dental health. You might have heard people joke that eating lots of sugar would give them an “instant cavity.” While it’s not possible to get a cavity that quickly just from eating sugar, consuming excessive amounts of sugary or acidic foods or drinks can lead to the formation of cavities long-term.
The reason sugar can be bad for your teeth is because of what happens when it comes into contact with your saliva. Your saliva contains naturally occurring bacteria that is usually in a healthy balance, but sugar feeds the bacteria which can throw off the balance. This produces an acidic environment that is erosive to your dental enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). When your enamel gets eroded over time, eventually a small hole can form, which is what is commonly referred to as a cavity.
Eating healthier foods can be beneficial because it helps you to limit the amount of sugar that comes into contact with your teeth and keep your whole body more balanced and healthy.
Foods to Avoid
Let’s start by talking about foods to avoid. In general, foods that contain high amounts of sugar, acidic ingredients, or refined carbs are best enjoyed in moderation. Foods or drinks like dark BBQ sauces, teas, or coffee might also stain your teeth. It isn’t necessary to avoid these foods entirely and making sure to brush your teeth after eating can help to wash away residue and minimize the effects.
The good news is that there are many more foods that are actually good for your teeth. Dairy is a great choice because it contains high amounts of calcium along with other vitamins and minerals that support strong teeth and bones. Fish, beans, and tofu all contain lots of filling protein.
Leafy greens also contain lots of nourishing nutrients. Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, pears, and strawberries are excellent options, as well, because they can actually help to stimulate circulation in your gums and scrub your teeth clean while you eat!
Your dentist is also likely to have plenty of healthy lunch ideas to suggest, so make sure to bring up the topic at your next appointment!
Call our Red Bank Dental Office, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.