Closeup of bowls full of candy

What to Eat and What Not to Eat for Optimal Oral Health!

Good oral habits certainly help you ensure optimal oral health, but what you eat and drink can have an even bigger impact on keeping you on the right track. There is so much misinformation out there on diet in general, but what are the foods you should be incorporating more into your diet to help your teeth and gums? Here are some suggestions.

Eat More

Fruits and Vegetables

Shocker! Those fruits and veggies that we’ve been told to eat since we were children just happen to be one of our biggest allies when it comes to oral health. Not only do fibre-rich fruits and veggies can help keep your teeth clean of plaque, but they also get your body producing more saliva. Saliva reduces the negative effect of acids and enzymes on your teeth and replaces minerals to certain areas of your teeth that need them.

Cheese, Milk, Plain Yogurt, and Other Dairy

If you’re someone who can stomach these delicious foods, you’re well positioned to take advantage of their positive effects on your oral health! Not only do they help rebuild tooth enamel, the calcium and phosphates they contain also help replace minerals your teeth might have lost from eating other foods. 

Tea

Focus on green and black tea. They contain polyphenols which are awesome soldiers in the fight against bacteria. By either killing or holding back bacteria they help ensure your teeth are as healthy as possible.

Eat Less

Candy and Sweets

Another shocker here. Candy, sweets, and chocolate that are high in refined sugar are tough on your teeth. Limiting all sugar is advisable, but for your teeth’s sake certainly limit candy that spends a LONG time in your mouth. Think things like caramels that stick your molars, lollipops that sit in your mouth for ages, and cough drops that get tossed from side to side in your mouth until they dissolve. There are studies that suggest that chocolate is less damaging than those sorts of candy, but be careful. The benefits are few and the negative effects can be many!

Starchy Foods

Certainly not as big a villain as candy, but many starchy foods have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth. Think of very soft breads or potato chips. Those items can be tough to clear from your teeth even if you brush right after you eat!. 

Carbonated Sugary Soft Drinks

Call them pop. Call them soda. Call them by their brand names. Any way you slice it, they are an absolute disaster for our teeth. They are loaded with sugar, and phosphoric and citric acids that strip your teeth of their enamel. Eliminate them entirely, if possible. If not, limit their consumption as much as possible.