While there is certainly overlap between the foods that are best and healthiest for your teeth and those that are just generally good for you, there are a few exceptions. Today, we’ll give you a few examples of tooth-healthy foods, explain the “why” behind them, and even tell you how some otherwise healthy foods can be somewhat tooth damaging.
What Makes Food Tooth Healthy?
If you’ve been paying attention to our blogs to date, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that (as dentists) we do caution people away from certain eating habits. While anything is okay to do sometimes, we do generally advise people to be a bit more careful when eating foods that are especially sweet, acidic, and even extreme in temperature (too hot or too cold). In the absence of these factors, we find some really great tooth-boosting foods.
The Best Foods for Your Teeth
For starters, gummy candy is off the list; heartbreaking as that is, anything that ends in “candy” or “ice cream” is probably also off the list. All jokes aside, there are some foods that represent the opposite end of the spectrum for a dentist; yes, we actually do recommend you eat some things – occasionally. The following foods come with a solid stamp of approval from your dentist, but are by no means exhaustive in terms of things that are neutral, or even good for, your teeth:
Cheese & Yogurt
Interestingly, cheese and yogurt are both really good for your teeth. Not only do they feature plenty of calcium and protein, but they also boast some really great probiotics and acidity balancing qualities. While too much cheese and yogurt could make your pants a little snug, you’ll hear no complaints from your dentist!
Leafy Green Veggies
We know, we know, we promised that the list would have some differences between what is just generally good for the body, but leafy green vegetables are just so good for your body that it would be impossible to ignore the benefit they offer your teeth; just check a mirror to avoid a leafy-toothed smile before heading back to work from lunch!
Surprisingly, this sweet fruit comes with a number of secondary benefits that push it into the positive spectrum. For starters, chemicals found naturally in apples increase saliva production, which naturally reduces harmful bacterias and plaque build-up, but the fruit also boosts tooth and gum cleanliness in other ways; in fact, many people use apples as a simple way to clean their dog’s teeth, as chewed skins somewhat replicate brushing – cool!
Carrots & Celery
Similar to apples, these crunchy/chewy foods are good for your teeth in their raw and cooked forms alike. Not only are these foods vitamin-packed, but they can even help to clean off your teeth and promote saliva production. Combine your carrots with a homemade yogurt dill dip and your celery with a dab of cream cheese for a tasty, mouth-healthy snack!
Body Healthy, Tooth Harmful
At the other end of the spectrum, there are some foods and drinks that are actually pretty healthy for your body in numerous ways – just not in your mouth. For these foods, you can gain some tremendous health benefits from eating them, but should do so with moderation and consider adding a little brushing time in afterward; these include:
- Coffee, which has been found to be good for you in just about every way except for tooth staining and the general vice that is caffeine.
- Pickles are surprisingly healthy for you, but the “juice” they’re kept in can help promote harmful bacteria in the mouth; counteract this with a little dairy!
- Citric acid is healthy, and necessary, to keep in your diet, but incredibly damaging to your teeth if eaten excessively; lemonade is just outright terrible, so cut down on that!
- Alcohol, while not actually good for you, is a staple in most American diets, but should always be consumed with water to counteract its mouth-drying properties.
Schedule With Us Today!
If you’re in the Encino or Balboa Lake area, be sure to contact our dentists for more information on oral health care, appointment availability, and even our personal two cents on whether or not you should use mouthwash. Our dentists are skilled in a number of general and cosmetic dentistry services geared toward people of all ages, making Balboa Victory a great choice for the entire family!