In our previous blog post we talked about some foods and drinks that can be destructive to your smile. Today we’re going to follow that up with a discussion of things you can eat and drink that are actually good for your teeth!
If you recall the reasons for food destroying teeth it all came down to one basic thing: sugars that stick around in your mouth. Plaque bacteria loves that sugar and eats it up, producing dangerous acids that eat away at your enamel. The foods we’re covering today do a variety of things to help stop that damage!
Defender #1: Tea
Coffee is too acidic to do good things for your teeth, but tea is wonderful! Both black and green tea come from the same plant and both contain compounds called catechins, though they are present in much larger amounts in green tea.
Catechins have the amazing ability to actually kill plaque bacteria, helping you maintain a healthy mouth and preventing the development of enamel-damaging acids! There is one big thing to remember if you’re going to rely on tea to protect your teeth: don’t sweeten it! Sugar can pretty much nullify the positive effect of the catechins, so just drink your tea straight.
When you wake up tomorrow morning don’t reach for the coffee can – go for some tea and give your teeth a boost along with you!
Defender #2: Cheese
All dairy products are good for your teeth – they contain lots of vitamins and calcium, which can go a long way to strengthen your teeth and bones. Of all the dairy products cheese stands out as an exceptionally powerful cavity fighter, so if you’re a cheese lover you’re in luck!
The reason cheese is so good at fighting cavities is because it sticks to your teeth. Yes, we said that sticky foods are dangerous but cheese is an exception to that rule! Cheese is great at raising the pH level in your mouth by helping you produce more saliva. It also contains several acid-neutralizing compounds that stick to your teeth and prevent enamel damage!
It’s important to remember some restrictions here too: highly processed cheese isn’t as good for you as natural varieties, so don’t expect that bright orange block of cheddar from Kroger to do the trick – get some of the tastier stuff instead!
Defender #3: Fiber-Rich Vegetables
Beans, dark-colored vegetables, broccoli … all of these and more contain pretty high levels of fiber, which is a great cavity fighter! The fiber itself doesn’t repel cavities but it does cause your mouth to produce more saliva, which as we said earlier is a great acid fighter. Saliva acts to balance the pH level in your mouth, raising it away from acidity and towards a nice base level. This neutralizes plaque acids and keeps your teeth healthy and cavity-free!
There are a lot of fruits that are rich in fiber as well, but due to the higher sugar counts in fruit we suggest fighting cavities by using vegetables. Your body and your teeth will thank you!
Defender #4: Tap Water
Depending on where you live you might get your water from a well or from a city supply. If you get yours from the city you’re in luck: most cities around the world fluoridate their water, giving your teeth a nice bonus round of protection practically for free! Fluoride helps your teeth rebuild enamel that has been damaged due to decay, and even the trace amounts in your tap water can make a huge difference!
It’s important to note that tap water is the helper here, not bottled water. The stuff you spend top dollar on is generally so filtered that any beneficial minerals are completely taken out. Don’t spend a bunch of money on the stuff in a bottle when you can get great water for virtually nothing right at home!
For added benefit brew yourself some green tea using water from the tap: fluoride and catechins!
At New Albany Implants we want you to maintain a healthy mouth that gives you years of happiness, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have about your oral health and other tricks you can use to keep your smile in tip-top shape!
You can reach our New Albany dentist office by calling us at 888-469-3982 or you can fill out our online contact form and someone from our office will contact you back! We look forward to helping you keep a healthy smile in your mouth for years to come!