Even those who remember to brush their teeth regularly can experience dental problems. Dentists are sure that oral hygiene is not enough to maintain the teeth in good shape. You also need to choose the right foods. So, what should you include in your diet, and what should you remove from it completely to visit the dentist less often.
What foods are recommended for dental health?
1. “Cleaning” products
These are the foods that provide significant benefits to teeth, such as preventing their destruction. The concept of their benefit is that they have a “crunchy” texture that is able to clean the teeth, removing food particles from them. The best examples include apples, celery, carrots, cucumbers, pears, etc. It is worth clarifying that these products are particularly useful when eaten after the main meal (because you do not always have a toothbrush at hand to remove all food particles from the teeth).
2. Dairy products
A lot of people might know that most dairy products provide nutrients promoting dental health. However, they also reduce or completely neutralize the acidic environment in the mouth, preventing tooth decay. However, do not forget that milk itself contains sugars, which, on the contrary, destroy teeth. Therefore, it is advisable to rinse or brush your teeth after drinking milk.
3. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate (for example, chocolate found in cocoa beans) contains useful ingredients, such as tannins, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These ingredients have high levels of antioxidants, which provide excellent benefits for the teeth. For example, tannins help prevent tooth decay, reducing the likelihood of bacteria “sticking” to the teeth.
Flavonoids slow down the process of tooth decay, while polyphenols limit the effects of bacteria, neutralizing microorganisms that lead to bad breath and also prevent gum infections and cavities.
4. Chewing a sugar-free gum
Let’s say, you recently got your porcelain veneers in NYC or another city you live in. And with all the big city hustle, after having lunch with a colleague, you don’t have the time and possibility to brush your teeth or at least eat a carrot to keep your renewed teeth clean. Don’t worry, the good-old sugar-free chewing gum will truly help you. It’s simple – it increases the production of saliva. This will reduce the amount of acid-based plaque and food particles causing tooth decay. In addition, the acid, formed in the mouth, slowly destroys the tooth enamel.
Foods that should be avoided
1. Starchy and sticky products
When a person chews starchy foods, such as soft bread and potato chips, saliva decomposes starch, turning it into sugar. The resulting pasty substance adheres to spaces between the teeth, which can cause dental caries. Sticky products also damage teeth, as they stay on them for a longer time.
2. Carbonated soft drinks
These drinks contain a lot of sugar and citric or phosphoric acid, which destroy the tooth enamel. Carbonated soft drinks contain a high level of acids and, therefore, are not suitable for teeth. Other beverages, such as drinks with caffeine, lead to dry mouth. In this case, there is no saliva in the mouth, which is known to neutralize acids that cause tooth decay. The best solution is to drink a cup of water.
3. Sticky candies and sweets
In childhood, parents warn children that they must not eat too many candies or other sweets – to avoid visiting the dentist. It turns out that they were right because sweets are full of sugar, which is affecting the teeth badly.
Sweet ingredients stick to cracks and gaps in the teeth, which also increases the chances of survival and reproduction of bacteria. In addition, they provide an acidic environment in the mouth, which is the main cause of dental caries.