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Eating for Healthy Teeth

What you eat goes a long way towards determining how healthy your mouth is. It’s easy spitting out a list of things that don’t do our teeth any good: soft, chewy, sugary snacks, and hyper-sweetened soft drinks. Those can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums, causing cavities and general misery. You can fight back by brushing and flossing on a regular basis. And eating the following foods can help, too.

  • Cheese, chicken, and nuts – These foods contain calcium and phosphorus, replacing minerals your teeth lose to the decay process.
  • Firm or crunchy fruits and vegetables – These foods have high water content and help to stimulate saliva flow.
  • Water, milk, and unsweetened tea – They help irrigate the mouth while not contributing to tooth decay.
  • Sugarless gum – Chewing helps to dislodge food that sticks to teeth. Some gums also contain substances that block cavities and heal areas of new decay.
  • Celery – Celery breaks down into fibrous strands that naturally clean teeth.

A couple quick notes:

Sugars are bad for teeth because once they are eaten, oral bacteria convert them to acid which attacks teeth and kicks of the decay process.

Sugar substitutes aren’t digested the same way natural sugars are, and therefore they don’t feed bacteria and aren’t converted to acids.

Sugarless or sugar-free foods can be “sugarless” in the sense that no sugar is added to the food during processing. A sugar-free food may still contain natural sugars like honey or molasses that are just as bad for teeth.

 

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