Friends or Foes? We list down the top 10 best and worst foods for your teeth!
Just like in the real world, you have friends and foes in the food world too. You may consider all nutritious food items to be your good friends, but it’s possible that they may be your enemies disguised as friends. And let us tell you, these hidden enemies do more damage than the visible ones.
The food choices that you make have a huge impact on your teeth and oral health. Many foods and beverages can cause plaque, a bacteria-filled sticky layer that accumulates on your teeth. This plaque causes serious gum problems, tooth decay and may even lead to tooth loss. The outer surface of teeth is covered by a protecting layer known as the Tooth Enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. While you may not realize it, but when you relish on a sugary snack or meal, you straightaway cause great damage to your tooth enamel, making your teeth more prone to cavities.
Just like these sugary snacks, there are many other food foes that have a similar or even worse effect on your teeth. But the good news is that you can reverse this effect or even stop it from happening by being friends with certain food items.
Let’s have a look at who these food foes and friends are.
Citrus Fruits: Rich in Vitamin C, citrus fruits are a godsend food item for your body. But when it comes to your teeth, these fruits cannot be considered to be as beneficial as they are for your body. The reason behind this contradiction is that these fruits are highly acidic which can erode the tooth enamel over time. Therefore, such fruits should be consumed in a moderate quantity.
Bread: A humble slice of bread may be your favourite breakfast but we would ask you to think twice before eating it. When you chew bread, it turns into a gummy paste like-substance that sticks to the crevices between the teeth. This can cause cavities. But with less-refined varieties like whole wheat bread, such problems can be avoided.
Ice: Surprised, right? Chewing on a substance as hard as ice can cause damage to the tooth enamel and may even lead to chipped, broken teeth or loosened crown. You may use ice to chill your favourite beverages but chewing on it is a big no.
Potato Chips: Munching on a bag of potato chips may feel satisfying but these potato chips can be a reason for an influx of bacteria in the mouth. Potato chips are loaded with starch. This starch gets mixed up with your saliva and is transformed into sugar, which can get trapped in and between the teeth. This trapped sugar then goes on to feed the bacteria in the mouth, which in turn can cause plaque and deteriorate your oral health.
Dried Fruits: You must have heard or read that dried fruits are good for your health, and they are but some of these may wreak havoc on your teeth. Dried fruits like apricots, figs, dates, raisins, etc. are sticky in nature. When you eat such sticky dried fruits, they get stuck in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. This sugar can then cause many dental complications.
Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are a wonder seed and a highly effective tooth scrub. High in calcium, these seeds help in preserving the bone around the teeth and gums. Chewing a handful of white or brown sesame seeds helps in sloughing off the plaque while protecting the tooth enamel.
Leafy Greens: Green vegetables should be an important part of your diet. Vegetables like spinach and fenugreek are rich in calcium, folic acid and vitamins & minerals that are vital for your teeth and gums health. These vegetables also help in producing more saliva to keep your mouth clean and enamel healthy.
Apples and Pears: When we say apples and pears, we certainly don’t mean apple juice or pear juice. Sugary juices may contribute to tooth decay but eating fresh apples and pears can help you keep your teeth clean. Fibrous fruits increase the saliva flow and neutralize the citric acid, while the fibrous texture can help in scraping away the leftover food particles from your mouth.
Nuts: Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts and cashews are packed with tons of important elements like calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D. Such elements help in improving the teeth and gums health and also help in fighting the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Apart from these benefits, nuts like cashews are known to stimulate saliva, which acts as a shield for your teeth.
Lean Protein: Lean proteins like meat, fish, poultry and tofu are rich in nutrients like phosphorous and protein. Such nutrients help in keeping the teeth healthy. Red meat and meat organs are extremely beneficial as they help in producing more saliva, which reduces the acidity in the mouth and washes away the food particles that lead to tooth decay.
With good overall health, it’s important to maintain good dental health as well. By now, you would have got a good idea of how your food choices can have an impact on your teeth. Therefore, we advise you to start making conscious food choices that would help you to avoid many dental problems. With conscious food choices, don’t forget to floss and brush twice a day.
For any dental queries or issues, visit Nidaan Multispeciality Dental Clinic.