The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

The dentist always says to brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup and keep your gums healthy. What they do not tell you is that the foods you eat make a difference in the battle for a healthy mouth. Some foods will help clean your teeth and massage the gums, whereas others will make it easier for them to stain. We are here to tell you which foods are the best and which ones are the worst for your oral hygiene.

The Best Foods for Your Teeth

We’ll start with the best foods. It’s important to eat good, healthy foods, which will not only give you the nutrients your body needs to thrive but promote healthy teeth and gums. These foods will make it a bit easier to maintain your oral hygiene. (You can find a longer list here.)

Apples

Apples will give your teeth and gums a good scrub after a meal. They are high in fiber and water and will clean your mouth of any leftover food particles and bacteria. Having an apple after a meal will give you fresher breath and hold you over until you can brush your teeth.

Carrots

Like apples, carrots have a great texture that effectively cleans your mouth after a meal. The carotene in carrots is great for teeth enamel, and carrots also are rich in fiber and vitamin A. Have a few carrot slices or baby carrots after a meal to clean your mouth and increase saliva production to reduce your risk of cavities.

Cheese

Cheese lovers have another reason to justify eating more of this delicious dairy product. Hard cheeses are low in salt but high in calcium and protein, which will strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese raises the pH in your mouth, keeping bacteria from reproducing, and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

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The Worst Foods for Your Teeth

If all of the healthy foods are good for your teeth, you know what is the worst. Sugary, processed, and acidic foods and drinks will weaken your teeth’s enamel. This leaves them prone to discoloration and decay. Here are a few examples.

Juices

Juices are acidic and weaken teeth. This leaves them susceptible to absorbing the coloring of the drink. We do not produce saliva fast enough as we drink them, but it is different if we eat the same ingredients that go into the juice. Eating berries and vegetables gives our mouths time to produce saliva that washes away the harmful part.

Tea and Coffee

Many people already know that tea and coffee can stain teeth. This is true, but green and white teas have the least effect on coloring. After having tea or coffee, you can neutralize its effects by having milk or lemon.

Soda

We have known for quite some time that soda is not good for oral hygiene. It breaks down tooth enamel and can make teeth turn yellow. Soda does not even have any health benefits, so your best bet is to minimize your soda consumption and clean your mouth after drinking it.

Curry and Tumeric

Some spices will also color your teeth, even if you only have it once. Green tea with lemon will help neutralize the effects of these spices before you brush and floss.

In Summation

For the most part, healthy foods are also healthy for your mouth, and unhealthy foods are also generally unhealthy for your mouth. Keep listening to your dentist and continue to brush and floss. If you have a good diet and drink plenty of water, you probably will not have to worry about your teeth.

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Lacey Jolley
 

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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