Eating for Healthy Teeth

What you eat goes a long way towards deter­min­ing how healthy your mouth is. It’s easy spit­ting out a list of things that don’t do our teeth any good: soft, chewy, sug­ary snacks, and hyper-sweetened soft drinks. Those can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, caus­ing cav­i­ties and gen­eral mis­ery. You can fight back by brush­ing and floss­ing on a reg­u­lar basis. And eat­ing the fol­low­ing foods can help, too.

  • Cheese, chicken, and nuts – These foods con­tain cal­cium and phos­pho­rus, replac­ing min­er­als your teeth lose to the decay process.
  • Firm or crunchy fruits and veg­eta­bles – These foods have high water con­tent and help to stim­u­late saliva flow.
  • Water, milk, and unsweet­ened tea – They help irri­gate the mouth while not con­tribut­ing to tooth decay.
  • Sug­ar­less gum – Chew­ing helps to dis­lodge food that sticks to teeth. Some gums also con­tain sub­stances that block cav­i­ties and heal areas of new decay.
  • Cel­ery – Cel­ery breaks down into fibrous strands that nat­u­rally clean teeth.

A cou­ple quick notes:

Sug­ars are bad for teeth because once they are eaten, oral bac­te­ria con­vert them to acid which attacks teeth and kicks of the decay process.

Sugar sub­sti­tutes aren’t digested the same way nat­ural sug­ars are, and there­fore they don’t feed bac­te­ria and aren’t con­verted to acids.

Sug­ar­less or sugar-free foods can be “sug­ar­less” in the sense that no sugar is added to the food dur­ing pro­cess­ing. A sugar-free food may still con­tain nat­ural sug­ars like honey or molasses that are just as bad for teeth.