It is well-known that certain foods and beverages can wreak havoc on our dental health, however, there are others that can improve it. Use the information below to improve your dental health.
Foods That Help Dental Health
Cheese increases saliva production. This additional saliva helps to wash away food particles. If these particles remain, they serve as food for the bacteria in the mouth.
After eating, the bacteria create an acidic, sticky biofilm that adheres to the teeth (i.e., plaque). This plaque offers a place for the bacteria to safely reside. Since this sticky biofilm is filled with acid-producing bacteria, the tooth enamel which is the hard protective coating on the outside of each tooth is eventually breached resulting in cavity formation.
Recommended cheeses for increased saliva production include:
- Monterey Jack.
Furthermore, dairy products, in general, contain calcium and protein casein, both of which assist with enamel stabilization and repair.
Citrus fruits eaten in moderation can be beneficial because they reduce the likelihood of developing gingivitis (i.e., gum disease).
The high levels of vitamin C in these fruits strengthen the connective tissues and blood vessels, which slows the progression of gum inflammation. This inflammation could lead to gingivitis.
It is still vital to rinse after consuming any of these fruits because if the acid is left on the teeth it can weaken the tooth enamel. Once the enamel is compromised, cavity formation is likely resulting in tooth sensitivity and pain.
Just like saliva, water washes away the acid that damages tooth enamel as well as the food debris that feeds bacteria, allowing for the creation of plaque.
Water, in and of itself, naturally contains fluoride. Many cities in the U.S. add fluoride to the tap water. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth erosion.
Foods and Beverages That Hinder Dental Health
Most people do not think twice while making their favorite sandwich, however, once saliva breaks down bread, it can negatively affect the teeth.
Saliva melts the starches in the bread down to sugar and creates a substance with a gummy, paste-like texture. This substance can stick in between the teeth, which increases the likelihood of cavity formation.
Research shows that these drinks enhance the bacteria’s ability to create acid. In fact, the acid from carbonated drinks is more harmful than sugar. Therefore, even sugar-free carbonated drinks can damage tooth enamel.
Alcoholic Beverages and Caffeinated Drinks
Alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine cause the mouth to become dry, which means there will not be saliva to wash away debris. This remaining debris feed the bacteria, which can result in tooth decay as well as gum disease.
Sticky, Chewy Candy
Chewy, sticky candy adheres to the teeth. Sour candy is especially harmful because of the numerous acids these products contain.
Chewy candies like caramel and taffy as well as gelatin-based candy like gummy worms get stuck between the teeth. As bacteria feast on this debris, they create acid, which can dissolve the tooth enamel.
If you are in the San Antonio area, and you are concerned about your dental health, or you are due for one of your biannual dental cleanings, contact Tran Dental Gentle Family Dentistry today at 210-674-3700 or click here to use the online request form. Our office is located at 6918 West Military Drive.