When you think about how healthy a certain food is, you probably consider how the fat, sugar and calorie content will affect your waistline. However, it’s just as important to consider how healthy the food is for your teeth. Sticky, sugar-filled and acidic foods eat away at tooth enamel and make you more susceptible to cavities. Make these 10 simple swaps to help you maintain a healthier smile.
Drink Water, Not Soda
It may seem devoid of flavor, but water is the single best drink for oral health. First of all, it washes away food particles that are stick to your teeth. Then, if your water contains fluoride – which it does here in Colorado – drinking water even helps strengthen tooth enamel. Compare all this to the eroding sugar content in soda and it’s clear water is the far better choice.
Eat Fresh Produce, Not Acidic Foods
Many sweet and sour foods and drinks such as citrus juice, wine, pickles and honey have a high acid content. This eats away at your enamel and can make your teeth become sensitive. Replace these foods with crisp, fresh fruits and veggies, such as apples, carrots and celery. These help clean plaque from your teeth and offer many nutrients for a healthy body.
Eat Low-Fat Dairy, Not Ice Cream
When you want something cold and refreshing at the end of your meal, skip sugar-filled ice cream and reach for a glass of 1% milk, cup of low-fat yogurt or slice of low-fat cheese. These lower-sugar alternatives help counteract acid on your teeth, making them the perfect way to end a meal. Plus, dairy products are high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth.
Eat Whole Grains, Not White Flour
Eating whole grains can help stabilize your blood sugar levels, which boosts oral health in general and reduces cases of periodontal disease in diabetic patients. White flour, on the other hand, turns into sugar in your body, which can have negative health consequences.
Eat Nuts, Not Crackers
When you want something salty, nuts are a better choice than crackers. After all, most white-flour crackers contain fermentable carbohydrates, meaning they convert to sugar very quickly in your mouth. This creates the ideal opportunity for cavity-causing acids to move in. Eating cheese with your crackers helps neutralize these acids, but nuts are an even better alternative.
Eat Kale Chips, Not Potato Chips
Potato chips contain many of the same fermentable carbohydrates found in crackers, not to mention high fat content that doesn’t do any favors for your figure. Kale chips are an extremely healthy alternative with a surprisingly similar taste. The high fiber content in kale and other leafy vegetables delivers great health benefits. Plus, these foods tend to require quite a bit of chewing, and every bite scrubs your teeth clean.
Eat Strawberries, Not Sour Chewy Candy
As you know, candy is loaded with sugar, but sour chewy candy adds acid and stickiness to the mix. This negative triple whammy can wreak havoc on your teeth, so choose strawberries instead for the sweet-sour taste and chewy texture you crave. Your teeth will also enjoy exposure to the malic acid, a natural tooth whitener, found in strawberries.
Eat Apples, Not Hard Candy
Hard candy may not cling to your teeth the way chewy candy does, but sucking on them exposes your teeth to sugar and acid for a long time. Besides, if you bite wrong, you could even chip a tooth. Choose apples instead for the sweet taste and crisp texture you crave.
Suck on Sugar-Free Lollipops, Not Traditional Candy
If you simply can’t say no to your sweet tooth, look for lollipops made with licorice root or xylitol. This naturally derived sugar eats the bacteria on your teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay while satisfying your craving for sweets.
Chew Sugarless Gum, Not Bubblegum
Chewing a stick of sugar-free gum after lunch is a great way to dislodge food that became stuck to your teeth during the meal. Chewing gum also gets your saliva flowing, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth. Just make sure the gum you chew is sugarless!
Along with eating the right foods, regular trips to the dentist are important to maintain good oral health. If it’s been six months since your last visit, contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008 to schedule an appointment.Leave a reply →