What Can Food Do for Your Smile?

A lot of dental health advice focuses on dental hygiene. But did you know your oral health depends on your diet? Diet is easy to overlook when it comes to your teeth, but it can make or break your smile. What you eat affects your teeth from the inside-out, so it’s important to eat right. Here is some advice on maintaining a tooth-healthy diet.

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What to Avoid

What you eat can be a causal factor for all manner of tooth problems. So what can you avoid for a beautiful smile?

Candy and Soda

A lot of oral health issues can be traced back to unchecked tooth decay. From bad breath and cavities to gum recession and tooth loss, decay can easily wreak havoc on any mouth. The decay is caused by bacteria, and those bacteria feed on sugars. Sugary foods are the enemies of healthy teeth for this reason, and candy and sodas are some of the worst of the lot. Soda coats your mouth with sugar that can be hard to brush away. Candy is sticky, so the sugar sits on your teeth.

Dark Foods and Drinks

While not necessarily bad for you, darkly colored drinks such as coffee, tea, and red wine are some of the leading causes of tooth discoloration. Tooth whitening is one of the most commonly requested voluntary dental procedures for stained and yellowed teeth.

What to Eat

Leafy Greens

Dark leafy green vegetables have a host of health benefits because they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Many of these nutrients can benefit your teeth. Calcium is important for strong enamel, and folic acid has been shown to prevent tooth decay.

Yogurt and Dairy

Dairy products are rich in calcium, a vital nutrient for strong teeth and enamel. Cultured dairy products, such as yogurt or cheese, have the added benefit of being probiotics. They can help bolster the population of good bacteria in your mouth, pushing out the bad bacteria that cause decay.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

A lot of dentists discourage fruit because it is high in sugar. Fruits and vegetables with a hard and crunchy texture, however, can actually help clean your teeth. Crunching into an apple, carrot, or celery stick scrapes food particles off the surface of your teeth. Chewing these foods also stimulates saliva production to clean out your mouth.

Schedule a Consultation

Do you have more questions about how your diet can affect your dental health? Dr. Robert Cain at East Tennessee Periodontics in Knoxville, TN will be happy to answer your questions about caring for your teeth between visits. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or at (865) 280-1173.