What you eat and how often you eat are important factors in cavity prevention and maintaining good oral health.
Changes in your mouth begin the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth converts sugars from the foods you eat into acids – which begin to attack tooth enamel and start the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more you are exposing your teeth to potential decay.
Also read: Harmful Dental Risks of Fast Food
This information is not meant to keep you from eating. Your body needs food – but the right food.
Believe it or not, there are foods that can help you maintain a healthy smile. The most common are:
- Chicken and other lean meats
These foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth if they’ve been stripped by acids.
Other mouth-healthy food choices include:
- Firm/crunchy fruits, like apples
These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva – which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid.
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
The best drink choices include:
- Water (especially fluoridated water)
- Unsweetened tea.
Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks as this exposes teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids.
Also read: How to Protect Your Teeth from Erosion
It’s also important to note that the proper food alone will not help you totally combat tooth decay. Brushing and flossing every day are the very keys to maintaining proper oral health.