Best and Worst foods for your Teeth & Gums
Great oral health starts with taking care of your teeth and gums with a good cleaning routine, but it doesn’t just end there! What you eat on a daily basis can have a profound effect on your oral health.
The right foods keep your teeth strong and your gums healthy, helping to prevent bad breath, and serious dental problems like gum disease. The wrong foods could result in poor tooth strength and difficulties fighting oral bacteria which can lead to tooth decay.
So, what should you be eating for healthy teeth and gums, and what should you be limiting to the occasional treat? Here are four examples of excellent foods for great oral health, and four examples of foods that could be doing more harm than good to your teeth and gums…
The Best Four Foods for Your Teeth & Gums
The good news is that there’s an abundance of foods that have amazing oral health benefits. A good diet for your teeth and gums certainly doesn’t have to be a boring diet, here are four top foods that you should definitely try to include to improve your oral health:
Cheddar, gorgonzola, parmesan, edam… if you love indulging in a spot of cheese, then you’re in luck! Cheese is one of the best foods that you can eat for great oral health. Not only is the calcium in cheese great for keeping your teeth and bone healthy, but cheese is actually thought to increase and balance the pH levels in your mouth.
With the protein in cheese helping to balance the pH level, there’s less risk of acid causing oral problems, which can help to prevent tooth decay in the long run.
Fruit is a brilliant alternative to processed sweet foods, and there are few fruits that are better for your teeth and gums than apples. Naturally sweet, apples shouldn’t be overindulged in, but an apple a day can at least contribute to keeping the dentist away! The chewing involved in eating an apple can help to cleanse your mouth of bacteria, which is certainly beneficial for avoiding tooth problems, like decay. The unique texture of an apple also provides stimulation to the gums, and the high vitamin content contributes to healthier gums.
If apples are not at the top of your list of favorite foods, then other hard foods, like carrots or celery can have a similar result. Apples, carrots, and celery can all act as a natural toothbrush, helping to keep the mouth clean of food debris and teeth free of plaque.
Onions may not be as delicious of a snack as apples or cheese, but your teeth and gums will thank you for including a little raw onion in your diet. One of the main benefits of a healthy dose of onion is better overall oral health; this is thanks to the sulfur compounds in onions which can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth.
By adding onions to your diet, you can better manage oral bacteria, which helps to keep your gums healthy. With the great microbial properties of onions, you can lower the risk of developing gum disease and prevent cavities.
There are few ‘top food’ lists that you won’t find leafy greens on, and for good reason. Leafy greens, like spinach, cabbage and broccoli are packed full of nutrients; this is particularly the case with dark green vegetables which often contain high quantities of calcium (excellent for strong teeth), iron (iron deficiency can increase the risk of gum disease), and fiber (reduces the risk of tooth loss and bone loss).
Leafy greens can also help to stimulate saliva production which keeps your mouth free of food debris and plaque. By broadening your diet with these top four oral-friendly foods, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying healthier teeth and gums!
The Worst Four Foods for Your Teeth & Gums
Not all foods are going to do your teeth and gums as much good as apples or cheese. A few select foods could contribute to serious oral health problems if they’re not consumed in moderation. Here are the four foods to avoid for healthy teeth and gums:
The first things that you associate bread with might not be tooth decay, gum disease or tooth loss, but they’re a very real risk if you consume bread too often without brushing your teeth immediately after. Bread is very high in starch, which once in the mouth and exposed to saliva, slowly breaks down to form sugar. The sugar will then start to feed bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to acid production; this in turn will start to break down tooth enamel. As bread easily gets stuck between your teeth, the impact it has on your dental health can cause major problems in the long term, like gum disease.
Potato chips are another carbohydrate that can contribute to dental problems. The processed snack isn’t overly healthy to begin with, but the tendency of small pieces of chips to get stuck between your teeth make them particularly unhealthy for your mouth. Having food stuck between your teeth can cause bad breath, but more worryingly, it also attacks your teeth. The longer the chips spend in your mouth, the more damage they’ll do to your teeth and gums. Like bread, there’s also the risk of the starch in potato chips feeding the plaque on your teeth!
Adding ice to a cool beverage on a hot day isn’t going to do much damage to your oral health, but if you start biting down on the ice, then your teeth could be at risk. Very hard foods, like ice, can do serious damage to the enamel on your teeth. The short-term issue of enamel loss is increased susceptibility to tooth damage; the long-term result of chewing ice can be cracked and chipped teeth which will require an emergency trip to a dentist in Gurnee IL.
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that citrus fruits have made the top worst foods list. The high acid content of fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and limes can cause serious damage to your teeth. In the short term, citrus fruits can aggravate mouth sores and in the long term they can slowly erode away the enamel on your teeth, which can lead to severe tooth decay.
However, these fruits can also do a lot of good for your oral health. The high vitamin C content of fruits like oranges and pineapples mean that they come with a burst of anti-inflammatory properties. To manage the benefits of citrus fruits with the potential problems, it’s important to maintain other great oral health habits, like attending regular oral examinations & dental checkups.
Stay on Top of Your Dental Health with Dental Exams in Gurnee IL
If you’re worried about the impact of your diet on the health of your teeth, then attending regular dental exams in Gurnee IL, is the answer. The Beautiful Smiles Dental Center provides a range of preventative and restorative treatments that can help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy and looking and feeling great.
When you visit a Beautiful Smiles dentist in Gurnee, you can arrange for oral examinations & dental checkups with one of our resident dental experts or speak to a cosmetic dentist in Park City, IL. We can diagnose any problems that you may be having with your oral health, spot potential problems early to prevent serious issues, and advise you on the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy and problem-free.
By filling your diet with great oral-friendly foods, avoiding the worst foods and staying on top of your oral health with regular trips to your local dentist in Gurnee IL, you can keep your teeth and gums looking great on the outside and healthy on the inside!