Everyone indulges in a treat every now and again. Who doesn’t love a buttery batch of popcorn and a good movie; a lollipop reward for good behavior, or a crunchy, salty bag of chips amidst a work deadline? When it comes to the best and worst foods for your teeth, not all the “bad guys” are necessarily bad for your body (dried fruit for example). Similarly, some of the foods you may have considered healthy for your teeth really aren’t. Get ready to unlock the mystery of the best and worst foods affecting the health and integrity of your teeth.
Let’s Start with the Positive News—Good Food for Teeth
Let’s start on a positive note by sharing a few types of food that encourage positive teeth and gums:
- Leafy Greens
They’re full of B2 and B12 vitamins, help produce saliva and contribute to overall healthy teeth and gums, especially kale and spinach.
- Sweet Potatoes
Did you know that vitamin A in sweet potatoes helps to protect tooth enamel?
As it turns out the antioxidant-packed strawberry also contains malic acid—a natural enamel whitener.
Cheese, yogurt, milk, and other sources of dairy contain calcium and often times probiotics to help fortify teeth and promote healthy bacteria.
Now for the Not-So-Good News—Bad Food for Teeth
At Hospital Dental Group, it’s not unusual to receive questions like, “is popcorn bad for your teeth?” or “are gummy candies really that bad for teeth?” Dr. Ravin and the HDG team are committed to helping educate our patients on the best and worst foods for your teeth.
The following foods aren’t the best choices to keep your chompers safe and healthy:
- Citrus Fruit
While they are yummy and often a great source of Vitamin C, citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and lime contain acid that over time and abundance can wear away at the enamel of teeth and aggravate any mouth sores that may be present. It’s perfectly okay to enjoy an orange, just don’t eat several per day.
Much like a tasty orange every now and again, eating popcorn on occasion won’t ruin your teeth, but it’s probably best to indulge sparingly. Unpopped kernels are known to crack teeth and popcorn shrapnel can become jammed in between teeth causing irritation and discomfort.
- Gooey Gummies
They may be cute and enjoyable as a sweet treat, but the gummy, sugary consistency of gummy bears, worms, and other creatures doesn’t do your teeth any favors. In fact, the high-sugar content clings to teeth and promotes the development of cavities. Even the healthier option of gooey dried fruit can result leaving a sticky situation behind. Swap gummies and gooey for a sweet fresh fruit snack.
- Hard Candies
Much like their gummy cousins, hard candies boast a high-sugar content, can also stick to teeth and can inflict cracking and chipping with a hard or imbalanced bite.
- Starchy Snacks
Sugary foods aren’t the only culprits for teeth. Starches produce bacteria that clings to the too. Although many people enjoy chips, crackers, and other starchy snacks, it’s best to partake in them sparingly.
Looking for More Tips on Food For Healthy Teeth and Gums?
If you’d like to know more about healthy foods to maximize the health of your teeth and gums or what foods to stay clear of, contact us today at 860-524-5194. Dr. Ravin and the HDG team welcome any questions you might have!