How Food and Drink Affect Your Dental Health

tooth decay

While it’s probably not the first thing that you think of when you’re reaching for that block of Cadburys, what you put in your mouth is crucial to the health of your teeth.

Healthy teeth and gums aren’t just the result of regular brushing and flossing, they’re also the sum of the foods that you put into your body. So what foods and drinks are good for your teeth and which ones are taking you down the fast path to the dental chair?

Check this list to see what more you can do to ensure you have your chompers for many years to come.

Sugar and Your Teeth

Yep, sugar is the main culprit when it comes to those nasty little cavities that can pop up at any time. While many of us love a sweet treat, you should look to limit how much sugar you’re consuming in your diet. Look to only include sugar as part of a meal, rather than snacking on sugary snacks throughout the day.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acidic foods and drinks are known to erode the enamel that coats your teeth. Common, known acidic foods include all citrus fruit (e.g. oranges, lemons, grapefruit, mandarins), cranberries, tomatoes, and pickles. As for drinks, coffee and wine are both acidic, too. It is recommended that you eat and drink acidic items with water to lessen the effects, and combine them with more alkaline foods to even out the acidity.

You should also wait for a while after consuming acidic food and drinks before brushing your teeth. Your teeth will be softer after eating or drinking which means that you can wear away the enamel a lot more easily if you brush straight away.

Dairy and Healthy Teeth

It’s been hammered into us from a young age that calcium is essential for health bones – but it’s also essential for healthy teeth and gums too! Calcium helps to strengthen your teeth so it is essential that you are consuming enough to ensure your teeth remains strong and healthy.

This is great for cheese lovers (or yoghurt, milk, cream or other dairy lovers), but how about vegans or those that are lactose intolerant? Adding calcium-enriched soy, rice, or almond milks ups your calcium content in an easy to digest formula. Naturally calcium-rich foods include soybean products, tinned fish that has bones in it such as salmon or sardines, and dark leafy green veggies such as broccoli, kale, and bok choy.

Raw Fruit and Veggies

Foods that are crunchy and full of water are great for keeping our teeth strong. The crunch and water content has a similar effect to scrubbing our teeth which makes it great to tide you over until you can grab the toothbrush.

Pick up foods like apple, carrot, and celery to snack on between meals and keep your teeth healthy.

Vitamin D’s not Just From The Sun

Vitamin D is like a helper for calcium – it helps your body better absorb the calcium that you’re putting into it. While we do live in Australia, some of us don’t get enough sun as we’re sitting at an office desk all day. Take a walk in the sunshine on your lunch break to get your daily dose.

The vitamin is also present in a range of foods including egg yolk and fish.

Drinking Tap Water Instead of Bottled Water

While bottled water sales have rocketed across the world in the last 20 years, in Australia our tap water is perfectly good to drink – in fact, it’s often even better to drink than bottled water! This is because our tap water is enriched with added fluoride – which helps to protect your teeth from tooth decay.

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