Diet is an important factor in how your mouth looks and feels. Sugar is converted to acid in the mouth and this attacks tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. Every time we eat our teeth are exposed to potential decay, and watching what we eat and drink can help prevent this process.
Healthy foods for teeth
Some foods contain calcium, which helps protect tooth enamel. These foods include meats (particularly chicken), cheese, milk and nuts. Vegetables and crisp, firm fruits such as apples are good for teeth as they contain a large amount of water. This lessens the effect of any sugar contained in them as well as helping the mouth produce saliva. Saliva is helpful in preventing tooth decay as it washes away bits of food debris in the mouth. If you are eating acidic things like lemons or other citrus fruits, try to have them as part of a meal, so the effects of the acid they contain is minimised.
Foods that are bad for teeth include hard sweets such as lollipops, as well as other items with a high sugar content such as cakes, crisps or dried fruit. As well as being high in sugar, these foods have the potential to stick to your teeth and provide a source of fuel for any bacteria in the mouth. Take care when taking cough drops as they will coat teeth in sugar in the same way as other sweets.
What about drinks?
In terms of drinks, the best things for your mouth are milk, water and tea that does not contain sugar or sweetener. Try to avoid too many sugary or fizzy drinks, as well as coffee and sweetened tea. Do not sip sugary drinks throughout the day, as this means they are constantly being exposed to sugar. As well as preventing tooth decay, try to avoid staining by watching your consumption of red wine and coffee. If you would like to speak to one of our oral hygienists please contact the team at City Dental Leeds.