Learn How To Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods

Learn How To Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods

Having strong and healthy teeth allows us to eat a variety of foods to maintain good nutrition. However, not all foods are good for our teeth, and some can lead to dental problems. Let’s take a look at some not-so-good snack choices. Similarly, lets look at tooth-friendly foods that we can enjoy without worry.

“Healthy” snacks that are not tooth-friendly foods:

Fruit tape/fruit leathers

These dried and highly concentrated fruit snacks are high in fruit sugars. Since they are very sticky, they can remain stuck in the grooves of the teeth for long periods of time.

Raisins and other dried fruits

Similar to fruit leathers, they are very concentrated in sugars and stick in the grooves of the teeth.

Granola bars

These snacks are usually high in sugar, often have dried fruit and chocolate and can stick in the teeth.

Crackers

While you may not think of crackers as being sweet, they are highly processed and usually have added sugars. They are a fermentable carbohydrate which can be broken down by the bacteria in our mouths and turned into acid. Crackers tend to get stuck in the teeth and can stay in the mouth for long periods of time.

Juice

Juice is acidic and sweet, a combination which is particularly hard on our teeth. Even 100% real fruit juice is high in natural sugars. It is better to get your vitamins from a piece of fresh fruit rather than fruit juice. However, if you must drink fruit juice, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water afterwards.

Why is sugar bad?

It is commonly known that sugar is bad for our teeth. This is because the bacteria that live in our mouth digest the sugar from what we eat and drink and then produce acids. These acids can eat away at our teeth and can eventually lead to cavities. This is especially true if you are frequently eating sugary foods or drinks and if you are not cleaning away the bacteria in your mouth properly (brushing and flossing every day).

Tooth-friendly foods:

  • Fresh or frozen fruit
  • Raw or steamed vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cheese
  • Water

While natural sugars are found in fruit, vegetables, and milk, these whole foods can be part of a healthy diet. Raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables don’t stick to the teeth, and they stimulate saliva production as you are chewing them. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser and acts as a buffer to protect your teeth from acids. Water should be your drink of choice, limiting all other sugary or acidic drinks.

If having a sweet treat, have it with a meal, when you have more saliva in your mouth to protect your teeth. Remember to brush and floss every day to remove the bacteria and keep your teeth healthy and strong.

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