It seems that everywhere you turn, there is a new diet plan soaring in popularity. Skip carbs, don’t skip carbs, eat fat free, eat high fat – how do you know which diet plan to believe? Weight loss plans are all over the map in terms of effectiveness, and what works for your sister or your neighbor may not work for you. However, while diet plans are far from universally accepted, dentists and researchers agree on the benefits of certain foods for your dental health. In this post, Austin, TX dentist Dr. Steve Van Wicklen discusses the best foods and beverages for your dental wellbeing.
Chew On This
Though food is fully broken down in your digestive tract, the process begins as you chew. Certain carbohydrates form acids as they break down in your mouth. These acids work with oral bacteria to destroy tooth enamel (demineralization) and increase your risk for decay and cavities. However, other foods can actually protect your teeth by increasing saliva, neutralizing acid, and strengthening enamel.
Best Foods for Your Smile
Though there are a number of foods that can benefit your dental and oral health, some of the best choices include:
- Cheese, milk, and other dairy products – The calcium and phosphates in cheese help to neutralize acid and strengthen tooth enamel. Aged cheese is the healthiest for your teeth, especially when it is eaten at the end of a meal. If you choose yogurt, make sure that it does not have added sugar.
- Green tea – Though black tea is notorious for causing tooth discoloration, green tea actually kills the bacteria that can lead to gum disease, decay, and bad breath.
- Kiwi and Oranges – Vitamin C protects the collagen in your gums and helps prevent gum sensitivity, bacterial growth, and gum disease. Though kiwi and oranges are known for being high in Vitamin C, any vitamin rich fruits or vegetables are beneficial.
- Sugarless gum – Turns out, gum is good for you! Sugarless gum is often sweetened with xylitol, which can help to reduce oral bacteria and acid. Additionally, chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which keeps the mouth clean and free from bacteria. However, sugar sweetened gum can cause widespread damage to your teeth, so check the labels closely.
- Water – It seems obvious, but drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to protect your oral health. It helps to remove bits of food and bacteria, and when you choose fluoridated water, it can strengthen the enamel on your teeth.
Austin, TX Dentist Helps Protect Your Oral Health
To learn more about how to protect your teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen. He will provide a thorough dental cleaning, as well as expert advice about dietary choices, dental hygiene, and other lifestyle habits. To book your appointment, call (512)448-3131. Dr. Van Wicklen proudly treats patients from Bouldin, East Cesar Chavez, South River City, Zilker, Riverside, Rosewood, Chestnut, and the surrounding areas.