We know that there are bad foods for our teeth but we at Creekside Dental in Kennewick will share some foods and drinks that you may not have thought about. We will also share some foods and drinks that are much healthier for your teeth.
Seven Worst Foods/Drinks
1) Carbonated beverages & other drinks – The sugar included in these drinks is bad for both body and teeth but artificially sweetened soft drinks contain tooth-eroding acids, such as phosphoric and citric, which is just as bad. Even canned iced teas contain flavor-enhancing organic acids that can erode tooth enamel. Sports drinks are notoriously acidic and full of sugar.
2) Not-so-healthy vitamins –Chewable vitamins –from multivitamins to large chewable vitamin C tablets- are especially bad because they contain a concentrated acid that tends to cling to and between teeth. Even so-called health drinks are brimming with danger for your teeth. And vitamin waters can contain as much sugar as a candy bar.
3) Mouth-drying consumables – Alcohol can leave the mouth dry as well as some medications. A dry mouth is danger to teeth and gums.
4) Long-lasting and sticky sweets -Caramels and other gooey, sugary sweets are bad for teeth because of how long the teeth are exposed to sugar. This is also true of hard candies and lollipops. Sugar should stay in the mouth as briefly as possible.
5) Dried fruits – Dried fruits like raisins, prunes and apricots, are similar to caramels and their gummy texture can cling to teeth as much as gooey candy. The fruit is packed with non-soluble cellulose fiber, which can bind and trap sugars on and around the tooth, making it worse than candy.
6) Starchy foods – Many starchy foods, including white bread, potato chips, French fries and al dente pasta, can become lodged between the teeth. The starches can begin converting to sugar almost immediately.
7) High-acid foods and drinks – Citrus fruits and drinks contain powerful citric acid. Oranges, lemons and grapefruit should be eaten quickly, preferably as part of a meal, and the teeth should be rinsed afterward. Sucking on citrus fruits should be avoided.
Seven Best Foods/Drinks
1) High-fiber fruits and vegetables – High-fiber foods not only “scrub” the teeth while eating but also stimulate saliva flow which helps neutralize tooth-damaging acids.
2) Water – It’s the main component of saliva, and is important to both tooth and gum health. Water is valuable as the final rinsing agent for foods and sugary drinks.
3) Dairy products – Cheese helps stimulate saliva, while its calcium helps replace minerals leached from the teeth. Other dairy products such as milk, yogurt and similar products also provide calcium and phosphates.
4) Xylitol – Sugarless gums that contain xylitol – a type of sugar extracted from a variety of plants – can actually battle tooth decay.
5) Green and black teas- These contain compounds called polyphenols that interact with the bacteria that causes plaque. These polyphenols either kill or suppress bacteria.
6) Nuts – Many nuts provide vitamins and minerals that are good for your teeth. These include peanuts, almonds, cashews and walnuts.
7) Minerals – Foods that provide vitamins A, C and D as well as calcium and phosphorus, are especially good for the teeth. These include beef, eggs, fish, potatoes, spinach, fortified cereals, tofu, leafy green vegetables, beans, whole grains and poultry.
– Barbara Harris, R.D.H.