When it comes to your diet, you likely think of the affect it’s having on your body. For instance, do you feel more energized or sluggish? Are you losing weight or gaining weight? However, your diet can actually impact more than your waistline and body systems. In fact, your diet can have an impact on your teeth—and not just from a gives-you-cavities-because-you-eat-straight-sugar side. Check out the following ways your diet could be hurting your pearly whites.
Let’s start with the basics. Eating foods that are heavy in sweeteners like sugar can create problems for your teeth. For most people, these problems arise in the form of cavities, and these can be painful and expensive to fix. However, sugar left on the teeth can start to do more damage to your teeth, especially if you don’t have cavities treated right away. You may find yourself needing endodontic care, which includes things like root canals. If possible, stay away from the sweets and opt for healthier items.
Aside from sweets, foods that are high in acidity are also bad for your teeth, even those foods that are good for you in other ways. For instance, eating too many oranges, grapefruits, or other citrus fruits can damage your tooth enamel. When this wears away, you’ll find yourself at a higher risk for tooth decay or gum disease. If you want to eat these fruits for their other benefits, be sure to not eat too many of them at once or try to pair them with other foods, such as by putting orange wedges in a salad.
Sticky foods can also damage your teeth in many ways. From gum to fruit snacks, these sticky foods cling to the surface of your teeth and gums and increase your risk of disease. In addition, sticky foods can also be attributed to starchy foods, so things like bread and potato chips can also damage your teeth. If you want to continue eating these foods, it’s a good idea to brush and floss right after eating these foods to eliminate the chance for food particles to stick.
Aside from doing actual damage to your teeth, there are foods out there that can damage your teeth by staining them. For instance, red wine, dark fruit juices, and coffee are some of the most notorious drinks for staining your teeth. While you may think it’s unfathomable to go without your favorite liquids, you should either drink these items in moderation or try to wash them down with water to remove the color from your teeth. Keep in mind that if you have veneers, they may become stained quicker than your traditional teeth too.
When it comes to choosing the right foods for healthy teeth, try to pick those that are high in calcium, as this vitamin will build stronger enamel and help you reduce your risk of gum disease. Dairy products, almonds, leafy greens, and beans are the best sources of calcium for your diet, so be sure to pack these as snacks to keep a healthy smile.
In addition to calcium, eating foods with healthy fats can help your teeth be stronger. These foods, such as olive oil and avocado, actual have anti-inflammatory properties inside that can help your gums remain healthy.
When it comes to a healthy item for your teeth, water is a great choice. Because it doesn’t contain anything unhealthy, it will not damage your teeth in any way or put you at a higher risk of disease. In addition, water can actually help by removing food and bacteria from your teeth that may be there from the other foods or drinks you consume. Be sure to drink water throughout the day and try to opt for water over pop or juice when possible.
Snacking is a great way to tide yourself over until a meal or to indulge in a food you love, but snacking often can put your teeth at risk of damage. Instead of snacking multiple times throughout the day, try to eat bigger meals so you’re more satisfied. If you do find yourself snacking, be sure to drink water with your snacks or brush your teeth after to help clean your teeth.
The food you eat every day plays a role in your overall health, including your teeth. If you want to have the best and strongest smile possible, then it’s important you pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth.