A smile is often our greatest asset. It can open doors to new relationships or brighten someone’s day. That is why taking care of your smile should be a top priority. The foods we eat can often have a direct impact on our bright smiles. Below are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to taking care of those precious pearly whites.
Foods to Avoid
Sugary Drinks: When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids. These can erode tooth enamel, creating pits where cavities can form. Sugary drinks, including soft drinks and fruit drinks, consist almost entirely of simple sugars.
Candy and Highly Sweetened Snacks: Similar to sugary drinks, candy and highly sweetened snacks are loaded with sugar causing acid and tooth decay when the bacteria in the mouth tries to break down the sugar. Sticky and gummy candies pose the biggest threat, since they adhere to teeth, making it hard for saliva to wash them away.
Some Starchy Foods: Foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes raise acid levels and in turn erodes tooth enamel.
Sugary Breakfast Cereals: Along the same line of sugary drinks and candy, these yummy cereals produce acid causing erosion of tooth enamel. The combination of starch and sugar is more likely to get stuck in plaque between teeth.
Coffee, Tea, and Red Wine: These beverages are known to cause stubborn stains to your pearly whites. Since these beverages are often sipped and enjoyed, the acids remain in the mouth longer and cause more acid build up.
Foods to Choose
Water: Plain and simple. Water is the best thirst quencher and removes those harmful acids.
Sugar-Free Drinks: Craving something sweet? This is a good alternative to water, in moderation. These drinks still wash away harmful acids and reduce the risk of cavities. However, these drinks may still result in a trip to your dentist down the road.
Sugar-Free Chewing Gum: Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth, protecting tooth enamel. The flow of saliva also washes food out of the mouth, limiting the amount of time it is in contact with teeth.
Citrus Fruit: Citrus fruit, although acidic, increases saliva flow and actually protects tooth enamel.
Cheese and Milk: This is the ultimate soldier in pearly white defense, and is a dentist favorite. Cheese and milk help protect your teeth in several ways. “First, they encourage saliva production, which neutralizes acids in the mouth. The protein, calcium and phosphorous in cheese and milk also buffer acids, protecting enamel from erosion. Studies suggest that cheese and milk may even help strengthen the protective minerals in teeth surfaces”.
Cocoa: Chocolate not only does tastes great, but it is actually good for your teeth. Substances found within this amazing dessert decrease inflammation and help protect against erosion and decay.
We at Rogers Center for Dentistry in Spanish Fork hope this article was informative to you and your beautiful smile. We would also like to remind you to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff to help you keep your greatest asset alive and sparkling! If you have any further questions on obtaining a whiter smile or any other dentistry needs, please feel free to give us a call.