There are many foods that can lead to tooth decay because they’re sugary or acidic. But there are also some foods that protect your teeth from damage. Here are some of the best cavity-fighting foods to help you prevent cavities and reduce your need for reconstructive dentistry.
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
Of course, dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which are important for your teeth. They are also powerful acid fighters, buffering your mouth’s pH against spikes in acidity. They also contain proteins that help remineralize your teeth. As an added bonus, cheese and yogurt have compounds in them that impair the growth of opportunistic bacteria in your mouth. This not only protects your teeth from decay, it can reduce the risk of gum disease as well.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy fruits and vegetables can help clean your teeth at the end of a meal. Carrots and celery are good choices that can not only scrub food particles and plaque from your teeth, they can massage your gums, and stimulate production of saliva, which is toxic to bacteria. Apples not only help scrub, but the mild acidity helps remove food particles that would otherwise feed bacteria. These can backfire if you have a tendency to get particles stuck in your teeth.
Tea is a powerful cavity-fighting beverage. It has a triple protective benefit for your teeth. Tea contains compounds that attack the bacteria in your mouth, reducing their population. These same compounds inhibit the ability of bacteria to produce acid, so they’re less likely to damage your teeth. Tea can also reduce the breakdown of complex starches into sugar in your mouth, which means there will be less sugar for bacteria to eat after a starchy snack. This last ability is best in black tea, while the other two are stronger in green tea.
There’s a tradeoff here, though, because both black and green tea can stain teeth. Teeth whitening is very effective on this type of staining, however.
Water is a great cavity fighter. Rinsing your mouth with water after consuming any acidic food or beverage will help restore a neutral pH in your mouth and give your saliva a better chance of killing bacteria. It will also reduce the amount of food particles clinging to your teeth. And fluoride in the water doesn’t hurt, either.
Sugarftee gum can help remove food particles from your teeth the way a clay bar helps when detailing a car. It’s a great way to get your teeth extra clean. It stimulates saliva flow, too. Sugarfree gum is often sweetened with xylitol, which has antibacterial properties. If you are having trouble with decay or gum disease, our CariFree system includes a special gum that may be even more effective for preventing decay.
To learn more about CariFree or find more tips for taking care of your teeth between dental checkups, please contact Dr. James B. Polley in Summerlin today.