The food that you eat affects more than just your waistline. What you eat can have positive or negative, effects on your teeth. Some foods can harm your teeth while others have nutrients to keep teeth healthy and strong. Luckily, the foods that tend to be good for your teeth are also good for keeping the rest of your body healthy as well.

Calcium

Calcium is very helpful in strengthening teeth and preventing tooth decay, especially for children. Dairy is a great source of calcium, which you can find in milk, yogurt and cheese. If you’re on a diet, skim milk and low-fat yogurt are just as good for getting calcium.

Fiber

High-fiber foods keep saliva flowing in your mouth, which helps wash out food particles. Dried fruits such as dates, raisins, figs, fresh fruits, bananas, apples and oranges are good sources of fiber. Beans, sprouts, peas, peanuts, almonds and bran are also good choices for high fiber foods. You can also try broccoli, canned fish, almonds, Brazil nuts and dried beans to get fiber.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide B vitamins and iron, which helps keep gums healthy. Whole grains also have magnesium, which is good for strong bones and teeth. Whole grain foods include bran and brown rice. Whole-grain cereals and pasta can also be good sources of whole grains.

It almost goes without saying that you should limit your sweet foods. Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in your mouth convert sugars from the foods that you eat into acids, which can decay the teeth's enamel. You should also limit drinks containing sugar, such as soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar.

While fruits are sweet, they also have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugar that they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. When it comes to acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, these should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid.

The good news is you can chew sugarless gum, which helps dislodge food that becomes stuck to your teeth. Sugarless gum also increases saliva flow to neutralize mouth acids. Chewing gum can be a problem, however, if you have jaw pain or other issues with your jaw.

The fluoride added to water that we drink is intended to chemically strengthen our teeth, making them more resistant to acids, which lead to cavities. Additionally, people may benefit from the fluoride that is found in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Fluoride inhibits the de-mineralization of tooth surfaces.

The recommendation from dental professionals is to use toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on the tube, since those toothpastes have been clinically proven to be effective. Fluoride mouthwashes contain sodium fluoride, which helps to strengthen the teeth and add extra protection against tooth decay.

You can also receive fluoride treatments at our office. To schedule an appointment with our experienced dentists please call (949) 760-0363. If you invest in your teeth today, you will face fewer problems tomorrow and the days to come.