Here we are into a New Year! Most people make resolutions or at least try to commit to healthier habits. To help you make better food and drink decisions to promote better oral health, here are the top seven best and worst foods and beverages for your teeth:
Best List: Foods that Stimulate Saliva, Neutralize Acids and Provide Vitamins and Minerals
1. Fruits and Vegetables: Colorful, high fiber fruits and vegetables are “best friends” to our diet and oral health. They stimulate saliva production, neutralize acids, and clean our teeth, and they give us a dose of vitamins and minerals.
2. Water: Rinsing agent and hydration works to prevent decay.
3. Dairy Products: Good source of calcium and vitamin D.
4. Xylitol: This sugarless, plant-derived sweetner fights against bacteria.
5. Green/Black Tea: Contain polyphenols that suppresses bacteria and plaque build-up
6. Vitamins/Minerals: A, D and C are great for teeth, but foods that provide other minerals and nutrients include: potatoes, spinach, fish, chicken, beef, beans, grains, tofu and eggs.
7. Nuts: They contain: Calcium, Vitamin D, Fiber, Folic Acid, Iron, Thiamine, Niacin, Zinc, potassium, magnesium, E and B6.
Healthy and Unhealthy Choices for Your Teeth
1. Soda, Carbonated Sugary Drinks: They contain sugar and acids that eat away and erode tooth enamel.
2. Some Energy/Sports Drinks: They may claim to be healthy, but they can be highly acidic and full of sugar.
3. Things That Create Cotton/Dry Mouth: Alcoholic beverages, medications, and fluoride rinses can dehydrate the mouth and hurt gums and teeth.
4. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sweetners, Sugar and Candy: Sugary, sticky, gooey caramelized foods are high in sugar, damage the surface of teeth and cause cavities.
5. Dried Fruits: Believe it or not, raisins, prunes and apricots can be like chewy candy, and they can find and trap sugars in and around the teeth.
6. High Acidic Foods/Drinks: Orange juice, lemons and grapefruits can be good for teeth, but sucking and consuming too much of them without rinsing can break down enamel.
7. Foods High in Starch: White bread, fries, chips, and processed foods convert to sugar and cause bacteria and a break down in enzymes.