Enough About What’s Bad for Your Teeth, What’s Good for Your Teeth?
As a dentist, I find myself always telling people what they should avoid when it comes to their oral health. No hard candies or sweets; stay away from carbonated soft drinks; don't eat foods that are highly acidic.
Sometimes I get sick of telling people no, and I want to tell them what they can and should eat and drink that is good for their teeth. So here’s a post that’s all about the good guys—foods and drinks that are good for your teeth and also your body.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice, especially when they’re raw and crunchy. All the chewing it takes to break down fruits and veggies can serve as a cleaning mechanism, helping to free the plaque from your teeth. They’re also rich in fiber, which stimulates your saliva flow, helping to rinse your teeth even more.
Black and green teas contain polyphenols, which slow the growth of bacteria. This reduces plaque buildup and helps to prevent decay.
Cheese helps reduce the acidity in your mouth. Acidic foods have a low pH level, and cheese helps to neutralize that acid. Similar to fruits and vegetables, cheese needs chewing, chewing creates saliva, and saliva is good for teeth.
Milk is high on the pH scale just like cheese is, and helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth. But studies have shown that it works when a glass of milk is consumed after dessert, not as much with dessert. Also, adding milk to a sweet cereal won’t help neutralize, because the milk becomes just as sweet and sticky as the cereal is.
The key is that it’s sugarless. Once again we’re talking about our old friend saliva. Those bacteria want a dry place where they can live in peace. When a piece of sugarless gum comes along and activates your saliva production, they are washed away.
If you have any questions about your dental health, feel free to contact our office at (603) 625-9823.