The foods you eat have a measurable impact on your oral health. Foods that are poor for your oral health are well known, but there are a number of foods that can help fortify your teeth. Certain foods can help protect tooth enamel and dilute sugars and acids that can cause tooth decay. Some of these foods are thought to help protect your teeth due to the high calcium and phosphorus content that add valuable minerals to teeth. In general, you should avoid eating too many foods high in sugars and starches.
Bacteria in your mouth breaks these items down and converts them to acids, which damage enamel over time. Sticky foods and sugary beverages are among the worst foods for your teeth and should be eaten in moderation and supplemented with good brushing and flossing habits. Foods that can help fortify your teeth, of course, should also accompany good oral hygiene. Here is a look at some foods for healthier teeth.
Chicken, Nuts & Dairy
These foods are high in phosphorus and calcium and can help fortify your enamel. Acids in the mouth remove minerals from the teeth and foods like these work to remineralize the enamel to help strengthen your teeth over time. High carbohydrate foods can be equally bad as sugar rich foods, since your mouth will convert carbohydrates to acids as well. Consider this when eating some of these more orally beneficial foods since a meal heavy in carbohydrates can undo benefits of these mineral rich items. Nuts and seeds are also especially good as they are high in minerals, protein, and calcium–contributing strongly to remineralization of the teeth.
Crunchy Fruits & Vegetables
These varieties of fruits and vegetables can be beneficial to oral health since they contain a high water content which can aid in stimulating saliva and dilute the effect of sugars in the mouth. These also produce a scouring effect to help clean enamel. These fruits and vegetables can act as a buffer from the acids breaking down food as you eat. The high fiber concentration also makes these effective teeth cleansers, dislodging plaque before it forms.
Fruits and vegetables high in acid and sugar, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, and bananas can also harm teeth, so you should integrate these items with other foods and be sure to brush and floss well after eating. Many of these foods are high in potassium and vitamin C, so they are healthy foods to eat and can often reverse discoloration of enamel. The high acid content, however, still leaves potential for enamel damage over time. The most important thing to remember is to maintain brushing and flossing habits twice a day no matter what you eat.