Good Food Choices for your Teeth
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, leafy greens and almonds, are foods that may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide.
Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus.
Both calcium and phosphorous play a critical role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.
Fruits and vegetables are also good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help wash harmful acids and food particles away from teeth protecting them from decay. Plus, many contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums) and vitamin A (a key nutrient in building tooth enamel).
If you like citrus fruits like oranges or are a fan of tomatoes, be sure to eat these fruits as part of a meal, like in a salad. Although they make for healthy food choices, their acidic nature can be harmful to your teeth.
Drinking Soft Drinks? Protect Your Teeth With these Tips
Do you like soda, canned fruit punch, juice boxes, bottled tea, lemonade? The typical American drinks 53 gallons of soda a year, and the consumption of soft drinks in general has increased 500% in the last 50 years. Each regular soft drink contains an average of 10 teaspoons of sugar—and the more sugar in your diet, the greater the risk of cavities and obesity.
So, what can you do about it?
- After a soft drink, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar. And if you can, wait 30-60 minutes later to brush and floss.
- Don’t drink soda or juice before bedtime—the liquid collects in your mouth and coats your teeth and tongue with sugar and acid.
- Just say no to soda and sugary drinks. Instead, drink bottled water, milk, and 100% juices with meals.
Source: Illinois State Dental Society
What Are Good Snack Foods?
Although foods like crackers and chips make for quick snack foods, the particles of these snacks can stick to the pits of your teeth, which can produce the bacteria that causes cavities. Consider going with crunchy vegetables like carrots or broccoli or a piece of fruit. Almonds and cheese are other healthy snack options. And healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. Check out this banana ice cream recipe that you and your family can enjoy. Just remember to limit how often you snack, because the more you eat between meals, the more you put your teeth at risk for decay.
See more food tips and some fun activity links in our Key Contacts section.
(article originally published 9/20/21, revised 7/11/22.)