In our last blog we discussed some foods that are destructive to your smile. We want to take the opposite approach today and talk about “the dental diet:” foods that can help protect your teeth by destroying plaque, rebuilding enamel, and stopping acid in its track!
At Overmeyer Family Dental we’re dedicated to making sure your teeth are healthy and happy and we want you to do everything you can to preserve your smile between appointments. Chances are you already love some of these foods so adding them to your tooth-healthy eating plan will be simple!
Dental Diet Food #1: Tea
Whether it’s green or black it’s great for your teeth! Green tea is definitely the better of the two but we’re not going to stop you if you prefer Earl Grey over Genmaicha! Not only does tea contain a lot of antioxidants it also contains compounds called catechins!
Catechins are where the tooth protecting property of tea comes from. They are actually able to kill bacteria in your plaque and prevent the production of plaque acids! For an added benefit brew your tea at home using tap water – you’ll be getting a dose of fluoride too! Recent studies also show that a bit of milk in your tea can prevent staining as well! Just don’t add any sugar or you’re basically neutralizing the catechins!
Dental Diet Food #2: Fibrous Vegetables
Veggies like broccoli, carrots, spinach, and green peas are all really high in fiber, which is great for your teeth! Fiber stimulates saliva production and saliva is a great way to wash away bits of food that get stuck in your teeth.
These vegetables are also low in sugar, which makes them a great snack or part of a meal. You’ll be benefiting your teeth in more than one way!
Dental Diet Food #3: Cheese
If this one doesn’t have you excited we don’t know what to say. Cheese is great for your teeth – better than any other dairy food! Cheese is a base – the opposite of an acid – and is really good at neutralizing plaque acids. What makes cheese even better at its job is that it tends to stick around. We generally caution against sticky foods but cheese is definitely an exception!
So the next time you reach for that block of cheddar don’t just think of how good it tastes – think about the favors your doing for your smile!
Dental Diet Food #4: Gum
Not just any gum is good for your teeth! Lots of it contains high levels of sugar that hangs around in your mouth due to how long gum is kept there. Sugar free gum might sound boring and dull, but if you think that you’ve never had gum with xylitol in it!
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is actually good for your teeth! Xylitol actually kills bacteria and prevents them from sticking to your teeth, keeping your breath fresh and your teeth defended! It isn’t hard to find xylitol gum either – it’s one of the most common sugar substitutes in gum and it’s really tasty and sweet!
Dental Diet Food #5: Water
It might sound obvious to say water is good for your mouth, but it really is! Water helps wash away food that gets stuck between your teeth and it keeps you hydrated! A dry mouth is really bad for your teeth because there isn’t any saliva present to remove bacteria, so make sure you keep drinking water!
The best kind of water for your oral health is the stuff that comes straight from the tap. Most cities in the country add fluoride to the water supply to help rebuild dental enamel. Since fluoride was first introduced to water supplies in 1945 the rates of cavities have plummeted!
It isn’t just drinking that’s great either – when you cook with your tap water you get the same benefits that drinking would provide! Add some nice fibrous veggies and some fresh cheese to the mix and you have a healthy meal that’s great for your smile!
Practice The Dental Diet!
There are a lot of good things you can do for your teeth – this is just the tip of the iceberg! One of the most important things you can do for your smile is make a regular visit to our Orlando dentist office for a professional cleaning and exam. You might do a great job protecting your teeth but there are always some tricky spots you can’t reach!