When it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, what you eat matters! For instance, if you consume lots of sugary and starchy foods and beverages, you are feeding not just yourself but also the bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Plaque refers to the thin, sticky film of bacteria and other materials covering your teeth. As soon as sugars come in contact with the plaque, acids will be produced – and this will weaken or break the enamel of your tooth, resulting in tooth decay. With continuous acid production, an inflammatory response will be triggered, causing the breakdown of the supporting structures of your teeth like your gums and jaw.
While there is food that can hasten tooth decay, there are also those that fight the buildup of plaque. To help you achieve and maintain excellent dental health, the best cosmetic dentist in Dubai shares eight examples of food you must eat and avoid.
Best Food to Eat
1. Fruits and vegetables (preferably those rich in fiber)
Fiber acts like a detergent that cleans your mouth because it triggers saliva production. Note that getting your saliva flowing is your body’s natural defense against dental issues. And since your saliva has traces of phosphate and calcium, it helps restore the minerals to your teeth that have been shredded off by acids.
Apples, carrots, and celery are some of the best food for your teeth because they are not just crunchy, but full of fiber and water, too. Eating this crunchy food will stimulate the production of saliva that helps rinse away food particles and bacteria.
Kale, spinach and other leafy greens also promote good oral health. They contain high amounts of calcium that builds the enamel of your teeth. Moreover, they have folic acid that can treat gum disease.
2. Dairy products
Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are good for your teeth because they contain minerals like calcium and phosphate that strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Also, the beneficial bacteria found in plain yogurt crowd out the cavity-causing bacteria, preventing gum disease and tooth decay.
Almonds are excellent for your dental health because they contain calcium and protein but are low in sugar.
4. Fluoride-rich foods
Fluoride is essential in keeping your teeth healthier and stronger. So drinking fluoridated water is a smart habit. You can also use this type of water to make your juice or soups.
5. Black and green teas
You may think that teas are not good for dental health because they can stain your teeth. However, black and green teas have polyphenols that hold back or kill bacteria, preventing these from growing and producing acids that weaken your teeth. Make your tea more tooth-friendly by using fluoridated water to brew it.
Food to Avoid
6. Acidic food
Citrus and other acidic food will result in tooth enamel erosion, which makes your teeth vulnerable to decay. Also, citric juice and fruits irritate mouth sores. While lemon water is a good beverage, plain water is still a better choice.
7. Sticky and starchy food
If you are fond of eating dried fruits as a snack, now is the best time to avoid them. Sticky, dry food will damage your teeth because they stay in your teeth longer.
The same is true with starchy and sugary food. Once they get stuck in your teeth, bacteria will feed on them. As a result, acids will be produced and will attack your tooth enamel.
8. Food that cause dry mouth
Alcohol and some medications can cause your mouth to dry up. In case your medicines are the cause, speak with your physician about alternatives or getting a fluoride rinse.
Prevention is the best way to preserve a healthy, white smile. Thus, monitor what you eat – increase your intake of the best food for your teeth and limit your consumption of those that must be avoided.
But in the event of dental issues, you shouldn’t worry because there are cosmetic dental procedures that can help bring back your bright smile. These include crowns, professional whitening, fillings, veneers, and implants.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.