Ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? We don’t if that’s true, but it definitely impacts your oral health. Certain foods can lead to extra cavities, even if you practice other good oral hygiene habits. If you are addicted to some of the foods on the “Be Cautious” list, you don’t necessarily have to avoid it altogether, just try to brush or floss after consuming them. The main issues are with foods that can breakdown your enamel getting caught in your teeth or drying out your mouth. As always, be sure that you are brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and staying hydrated.
Good for You:
- Onions: onions can neutralize oral bacteria because of their microbial properties. They are very good for your gums and can help to fight gum disease and cavities. Sneak onions into some of your meals and reap the rewards.
- Leafy Greens: many leafy greens are filled with healthy vitamins and minerals that can help your oral health. Another benefit is the excessive chewing these greens require will help to produce saliva which can wash out your mouth and keep your teeth healthier (and your breath fresher)!
- Crispy Vegetables and Fruits: crispy and crunchy fruits and veggies can help to keep your mouth fresh between brushings. It will help you produce salvia and flush out unwanted bacteria. It will help to wash out food particles that will get caught in between your teeth. Some great fruits and veggies to snack on include celery, carrots, and apples.
- Citrus Fruits: acidic fruits with high amounts of vitamin C have anti-inflammatory properties that can greatly benefit you. These fruits include orange, kiwis, pineapple, and strawberries.
- Fiber-Rich Foods: high fiber fruits and vegetables
- Green Tea: green tea contains polyphenols that can kill or at least lessen plaque bacteria. It can also help to prevent bacteria from growing and help to rebuild tooth enamel. Black teas can also be very beneficial for the same reasons.
Be Cautious Of:
- Sticky Candies: sticky sweets can easily get caught in your teeth and cause deuteriation. These are a double-edged sword because they will get caught in little crevices in your mouth and between your teeth. And they have refined sugar, so they can break down your enamel and lead to cavities. If you can’t keep away from the sticky (and tasty) candies
- Starchy Foods: Similar to sticky candies, starchy food can easily get caught in your teeth. Soft breads, potato chips, and the like will often get trapped between or in your teeth and lead to cavities.
- Soda Pop: carbonated soft drinks are very high in sugar. The sugar, the citric acid, and phosphoric acid will wear down tooth enamel and weaken your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to decay.
- Alcohol: alcohol and some other medications will dry out your mouth. You can fight this with a fluoride rinse or gel.