We all know that a beautiful and healthy smile requires brushing and flossing at least two times a day, but some patients may not realize just how much of an impact that their diet has on their oral health. There may be more treatments than ever to restore the appearance of teeth, but avoiding tooth decay, staining, and gum disease before it ever takes place is always the best option. For those that want to enjoy a world-class smile for years on end, here is a look at some of the best and worst foods for teeth.
Green and Black Tea
Having a glass or two of green or black tea has been shown to provide patients with a wide variety of health benefits including healthier and more durable teeth. These two types of tea in particular contain a large amount of polyphenols that suppress and kill unhealthy plaque in the mouth. If tap water is used to brew the tea, these beverage will also most likely contain much-needed fluoride to protect the enamel of teeth.
Most high-fiber produce is referred to as “detergent” foods when it comes to oral health. Much like detergent is used to remove stains from clothes, detergent foods have a unique texture that helps to physically pull away other lingering food debris. This produce also helps to stimulate saliva production, which will neutralize acids and sugars that can attack teeth and gums.
Nuts are considered to be detergent foods as well that can scrub teeth clean after a meal or in between meals. Many nuts also provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are important for oral health such as potassium and zinc. Some of the best nuts for to chew on include cashews, walnuts, and peanuts.
Not only are most starchy carbs bad for overall health and weight, they can also wreak havoc on oral health. When starchy carbohydrates such as pastas and chips are eaten they will often get stuck in small crevices throughout the mouth. If they are not immediately removed, the simple carbohydrates turn into sugar which will increase the production of abrasive bacteria.
Every diet should be high in fresh fruits, but highly-acidic fruits and fruit juices should be avoided or only consumed in small quantities. The two worst offenders are lemon and grapefruit-based juices that will attack the outer enamel of the teeth. As an alternative, it is better to consume fortified all-natural orange juice that contains vitamin C and calcium.
Carbonated Soft Drinks
When it comes to the worst foods for teeth, carbonated soft drinks generally take the number one spot. Sodas are consumed at an alarming rate throughout the world and will attack the appearance and health of teeth in multiple ways. The dyes in darker sodas will stain the outside of the teeth while ingredients such as citric acid and phosphate erode tooth enamel. The sugar in these drinks also promotes the production of oral bacteria.
At Grace and Bowman Orthodontics, your teeth are our number one priority. We aim to provide all our patients with their best smiles. Throughout the orthodontic process, it’s important to maintain healthy teeth and gums. This ensures that your smile will continue to look its best, long after treatment has ended. Contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics today to schedule your appointment.