We all know that a healthy diet contributes greatly to our internal health and physical fitness, but did you consider how your diet impacts your dental health too? Tooth decay and gum disease are the most common diseases amongst adults, and your overall well-being is compromised when disease develops (and worsens) in your mouth. Fortunately, unlike other forms of disease, tooth decay and gum disease are fairly easy to prevent with healthy habits, including making smart choices about what you eat and drink.
Protect Your Tooth Enamel to Prevent Decay
It’s OK to enjoy a sweet treat every now and then, but for the health of your mouth, certain foods and drinks should be enjoyed in moderation. The best defense to prevent tooth decay is to maintain the strength of your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth; it’s a protective layer that withstands wear and tear to keep the structure of your tooth secure. The only problem? Tooth enamel cannot be reproduced or restored once worn away, so it’s important to take good care of the enamel you have. Tooth enamel can be eroded by rough toothbrush bristles, acidic foods, sugary foods, or starchy foods. Why avoid sugar and starch? Sugar and starch react with the bacteria in your saliva to form an acid that erodes your tooth enamel.
10 Foods & Drinks to Avoid for Healthy Teeth & Gums
1. Hard candy
2. Carbonated sugary soft drinks, like soda pop
3. Fruit juice
4. Citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges
5. Sugar cubes, raw sugar, sugar added your coffee or tea
6. Lemon and lime juice
7. White bread
8. Chocolate candy
10. Potato chips
Additional Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay
Eating healthfully and avoiding sugary, starchy, and acidic foods helps prevent tooth decay, but there are also steps you can take to prevent cavities. You should always visit the dentist twice-yearly for a dental cleaning and dental check-up. It’s also vital that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. These are the best steps in preventive dentistry.
About Dr. Jeffrey Allen
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.