Healthy Food for Heathy GumsWebMD / ADA
Your diet has a direct effect on your oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), one of the first areas of the body to decline when you don't maintain a healthy diet.
What foods are harmful to your teeth?
- Sugary foods such as sodas, sweetened fruit drinks and other non-nutritious snacks contribute to tooth decay.
- Sticky or chewy food such as raisins, dried figs, peanut butter, caramel, honey, etc. can stick to your teeth and make it difficult for the saliva to wash away any food particles.
- Candy (such as lollipops, hard candy, cough drops, and mints) contribute to tooth decay because they coat teeth with a layer of sugar.
- Cough syrup contains sugar that bacteria uses to make acid. This acid can eat away at your enamel, try brushing right after taking any liquid medicine.
So what can you do/eat?
- Fruits and vegetables containing a higher volume of water (melons, celery, etc.). Fruits like bananas contain a higher concentration of sugar so try to remember to brush after eating them.
- Certain cheeses (such as cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack and other ‘aged’ cheeses) help trigger the saliva flow in your mouth that wash away the food particles from your teeth (you still need to floss though, sorry).
- Eating sugary foods immediately after a meal (dessert basicallyhaha) is better than eating sugary foods as a snack. There is usually more saliva in the mouth after a meal, making it easier to wash food particles away from your teeth. A beverage after a meal can help too.
- Try not to snack when unnecessary, one or two a day is okay. The time between meals allows your saliva to wash away food particles, but if you’re constantly snacking then your providing constant fuel to bacteria. This leads to plaque development and tooth decay.
- Xylitol sweetener has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Try chewing gum that is sweetened only with xylitol or buy foods that are sugar free with a xylitol substitute.