The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Food & Drinks That Affect Your Dental Health

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The Good

Fruits: Apples and strawberries are high in fiber and helps your mouth to produce saliva.  Good salivation in the mouth is important for rinsing out bacteria and food particles. Also the texture of the fruit helps to naturally stimulate your gums.  Consider a few slices of apple or a couple strawberries following lunch or for a snack. Pears also help to neutralize acid on your enamel.

**Beware of too much citrus. Even though vitamin C is very important to a healthy diet, too much citric acid can deteriorate your enamel over time. Consider taking vitamin C in pill form instead.

Veggies: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and arugula are high in calcium which can help build enamel. They also are very high in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, B, and K, as well as being high in iron. It can also contains beta-carotene which boosts enamel as well. Carrots and avocados are also high in fiber.

Nuts/Legumes: Nuts are chock full of health benefits but the omega-3 fatty acids specifically can strengthen teeth and help maintain healthy gums.

Dairy Products: Cheese, milk, and yogurt as well as many other dairy products, providing they do not have added sugar, contain large amounts of fiber, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin D.  Dairy also contains a protein called Caesins which helps to create a protect film that covers your enamel and prevents erosion.  

Garlic Juice: Garlic is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, contains sulfuric compounds, as well as allicin. Garlic can help fight infection, and can even help with tooth or gum irritation or pain!

Clove Oil:  Clove oil is antiseptic, antifungal, bactericidal and has analgesic properties and is rich in nutrients as well.

Salt Water: Salt water has antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as able to reduce pain and inflammation. It you have a sore throat or sore gums, try a salt water gargle.

Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is not only soothing but has antibacterial properties, prevents infections, and reduces pain.

The Bad

Sugar: Obviously. Eating sugary snacks can increase your chances for tooth decay.  The good bacteria in your mouth will break down the sugar compounds in your mouth and turn them into acids. These acids in turn will break down the protective enamel on your teeth allowing for tooth decay which leads to cavities.

Chewy/Sticky: Snacks that are chewy or sticky can leave particles of food in your mouth that can attract bacteria, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

The Ugly

Coffee: We all know that coffee will stain your teeth, but did you also know coffee is acidic? The acids found in coffee can break down your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay. ALSO if you add sugar to your coffee, it can also create a higher chance of tooth deterioration. Finally, coffee tends to dry out your mouth which can lead to halitosis, or bad breath.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact My First Class Dental at (661) 383-2888 to speak to a highly skilled dentist.

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