When we think about taking care of our teeth, the first thoughts we might have are brushing and flossing. And while oral care is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, there are many other factors that impact your oral health. One of the biggest factors is what you eat and drink. It is very important to make sure you understand not only what foods and beverages are unhealthy, but also which ones are healthy for your teeth. For more information about dental care or to set up a dental visit with our team in Chicago, please give us a call.
What foods and beverages are bad for your teeth? You might immediately think; candy or soda. And while you would be correct, there is some misinformation that a lot of people miss when it comes to dental health and food. Basically the following food/drink properties can cause problems:
Sugar: Sugar is one of the main components in bacteria growth. Food high in sugar will allow bacteria to grow quickly.
Acid: Acidic foods and beverages quickly aid in the decay process by helping break down the outer layers of your teeth, making it easy for bacteria to continue the erosion.
Sticky Foods: Another thing to consider is how long food or beverages can stay adhered to your teeth teeth. Another element of candy and sugary things is that they stick to the surface of the tooth longer.
But, looking at the list above, it is important to understand that foods/beverages you might not have thought of can fit this list. For example, tomatoes and oranges are acidic. Fruit juice or sports drinks are sugary. Foods that can be healthy for our bodies can be unhealthy for our teeth. What is most important is not skipping foods because they are potentially dangerous to our teeth, but understanding how to control to decrease the risk of prolonged exposure.
While the best way to protect your teeth from soda is to simply not drink it, there are other things you can do to decrease the risk soda, fruit juices, coffee, or sticky foods will have on your teeth. First, drink and eat dangerous foods/beverages in moderation. Having multiple cups of coffee or sodas per day can quickly increase the risk to your teeth. Second, don’t let sugary foods or beverages stay in your mouth for a long time. If you love soda or acidic foods, make sure that you eat them, and the brush/floss. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum can also remove some food and the sugar left behind by beverages during the day. Drinking water directly after your morning cup of coffee is better for your teeth and your body in general.
Vitamins and minerals are so important to our body health. For example, calcium which can be accessed through dairy products and leafy green vegetables like spinach can lead to stronger bones and teeth. Additionally vitamins that can found in fruits and vegetables can help improve your overall tissue health in your gums and teeth. Eating a well balanced diet that has fresh produce is always recommended.
If you live in the Chicago area and you need to work with a dentist, please give us a call for more information. We work with patients of all ages at our dental offices in Chicago.