Best and Worst Foods for Teeth, Some May Surprise You!

Best and Worst Foods for Teeth, Some May Surprise You!

We find people are often surprised that they could have cavities, as they don’t eat any of the usual suspects (lollies) that cause tooth decay.  Unfortunately a lot of foods, well almost all food apart from water and plain vegetables can cause tooth decay.  What makes things worse is the frequency that these foods are consumed, people who frequently snack, rather than keep food consumption to meal times are at most risk, as the teeth are exposed to cavity causing foods for a much longer period of time.  Doing things such as using a straw and rinsing with water/ chewing sugar free gum after eating can help reduce the impact of some of these ‘bad foods’

Here is a list of some of the best and worst foods for your teeth:

Best foods:

1) Sugar free gum – helps teeth by stimulating the production of saliva, which contains lots of teeth strengthening minerals, protecting the teeth from decay and neutralizing any food acids.  Also the xylitol ingredient in this gum helps to reduce the quantity of cavity causing bacteria.  In fact xylitol is now being added to some toothpastes, due to it cavity fighting benefits.

2) Water – helps wash the sugar and acid off teeth.

3) Dairy foods – such as plain milk, plain cheese and plain yoghurt, as they contain tooth strengthening calcium.

4) High fibre foods – such as leafy vegetables or beans and lentils – as these foods required a lot of chewing, this generates saliva and the food physically scrubs the teeth, kind of like why we give bones to dogs

5) Strawberries – not only do these taste nice, these little berries contain malic acid a natural tooth whitener!

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Worst foods:

  • Citrus fruit and juices – they are highly acidic and can erode teeth, causing tooth sensitivity due to the loss of tooth enamel.
  • Sticky candy – these are bad as they ‘stick’ to the teeth, so the sugars and bacteria are in contact with the teeth for a longer time, so are able to cause more damage. Also and the gelatin (agar) in these sweets are a very good food for cavity causing bacteria.
  • Hard candy – if you bite down incorrectly on them they can break your teeth and many people have experienced this at some stage in their life. Also as these sweets tend to be left in the mouth for extended periods of time, it means the sugar in them have more opportunity to cause tooth problems.
  • Pickled vegetables – as the vinegar used in the preserving process is acidic and can erode tooth enamel.
  • Soft drink – these cause damage due to the sugar content (a can of coke contains 9 teaspoons of sugar). Also the caffeine in soft drinks such as Coke, causes dehydration and reduced saliva flow, resulting in less protection for the teeth. The sugar-free diet sodas are even worse as they contain acids that erode the teeth as well.
  • Sports drink – these drinks are very acidic, in some cases more damaging than soft drink.
  • Wine – red and white wine can stain the teeth and are acidic causing tooth erosion.
  • Crackers – the refined carbohydrates in things such as SAOs or saltines, convert to sugar very quickly in the mouth, feeding cavity-causing bacteria. Many people think that you have to be eating lollies and sweet biscuits to get decay, but they don’t know the carbohydrates in things such as crackers, pasta and bread, quickly convert to sugars in the mouth and so can be just as bad for causing decay.
  • Dried fruit/ roll ups – these are basically a lolly as they are a great lump of sugar and tend to get stuck in the teeth, meaning the sugar stays in contact with the teeth for longer.
  • Muesli bars – these are deceiving, all those nuts and grains appear healthy, but it is usually sugar-packed honey holding them all together and they tend to get stuck in the teeth and are hard to remove.
  • Coffee – this stains teeth, causing more discolouration than tobacco
  • Tea – stains teeth worse than coffee. You aren’t safe with herbal tea either, as it can erode enamel more than black tea.
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If you are in need of dental advice, why not call us give us a call today at Debra Brown Dental on 49 57 59 57.

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