Good oral health is essential for overall wellbeing, and the foods and drinks you consume can have a major impact on your teeth and gums. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fiber-rich foods can help keep your teeth and gums clean. Dairy products, water, unsweetened tea, and certain candies are all beneficial for your teeth. Additionally, food sequencing and avoiding sugary snacks throughout the day are important for preventing tooth decay.
Read on to learn more about the best foods and drinks for your teeth. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products are great options for promoting good oral health. Dairy products contain calcium that will help strengthen bones and teeth. Cheese and yogurt are high in calcium and protein, helping to strengthen teeth. Yogurt also contains probiotics, or beneficial bacteria for the digestive system.
Choose unsweetened or sugar-free yogurt and add a touch of sweetener or honey yourself. If you are sensitive or allergic to dairy products, you can find nut milk fortified with calcium and protein such as almond milk, soy or cashew nuts. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help eliminate dry mouth by keeping your mouth moist to prevent bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease, or bad breath. Eating as part of a meal causes less damage to your teeth than eating a lot of snacks throughout the day because more saliva is released during the meal. Foods with a high water content dilute the effects of sugars they contain and stimulate saliva flow (which helps protect against tooth decay by removing particles from food and buffering acid).The best drinks are water (especially fluoridated water) and unsweetened tea. Limit consumption of sugary beverages like soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar.
Avoid drinking sugar-containing drinks throughout the day; this exposes your teeth to constant sugar and acids that cause tooth decay. Drinks derived from Camellia sinensis contain polyphenols that reduce gum inflammation, mitigate the development of periodontitis and dental caries, and combat bad breath. When snacking, opt for some of the foods mentioned above such as almonds, cheese, fruits and vegetables. It may seem counterintuitive that a list of foods that are good for your teeth includes gum and candy; however, certain candies have some dental benefits. All these vitamins are found in foods that are good for your teeth but an extra intake can benefit your body especially if you have destructive dental habits like teeth grinding. Instead of eating sugary, carbohydrate-rich or acidic foods throughout the day, eat these foods only during meals to minimize the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acid. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates in foods into acids which attack tooth enamel starting the tooth decay process. Eating whole grains in low-sugar breads and cereals or quality fruits and vegetables and proteins are the best foods for a healthy mouth.
These foods are believed to protect tooth enamel because they contain calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).