When it comes to an attractive, healthy smile, getting regular dental checkups and any needed treatments are a must. Your teeth were created to last your lifetime, but today’s sugary treats and processed foods mean a higher risk of tooth decay.
The experienced dental team at Dental Studios in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, wants to help you enjoy the best smile and oral health possible. Our full line of comprehensive dental services is designed to do just that.
But what you consume also impacts your dental health and your smile. Here’s a list of the best and worst foods for your teeth so you can eat your way to a better smile.
Foods and drinks to avoid so you protect your smile
Many common foods and beverages wreak havoc on your teeth and destroy your smile. If you want better oral health and a dazzling grin, stay away from these worst offenders of dental health:
1. Bubbly drinks
Carbonated beverages, like soda and water, raise the acidity inside your mouth. This weakens the enamel designed to protect your teeth and makes it easier for cavities and decay to develop. Weaker enamel also means your teeth stain more easily. For a better smile, avoid carbonated drinks.
2. Sour candies
Sour candies contain specific acids that stick to your teeth, destroying your enamel long after the candy dissolves. If you have a sweet tooth, avoid sour candies and try munching on fruits instead. And always be sure to brush and floss after eating any sweet snacks.
Did you know that when you eat bread, your saliva turns the starches in it into sugars? These sugars stick to your teeth and get stuck in the small gaps and crevices between them, increasing your risk of getting cavities.
If you do eat bread, be sure to reach for whole-grain breads without added sugars. Whole-grain breads don’t break down as easily, which means less surgery goop sticking to your teeth so you can maintain your pearly whites.
4. Citrus foods and drinks
Citrus foods aren’t bad for your health. But foods like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits have a high acid content, and even small amounts of these acids break down dental enamel and can cause damage. Use moderation when you eat citrus foods and drinks, and rinse and brush your teeth after eating or drinking.
5. Potato chips
Potato chips are full of starch. When you chomp on chips, the starch breaks down and becomes sugar, which gets trapped in your teeth and feeds cavity-causing bacteria. Because most people find it challenging to eat just one chip, the problem compounds the more you eat.
Reach for these foods for a better smile
The good news is that many foods are good for your oral health, which means they’re good for your smile. Here’s a look at some of the best foods for your smile:
1. Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals and calcium and other properties that are excellent for your health. Many of these same elements are also good for your teeth, giving your teeth's enamel a boost. They also have lots of folic acid, which helps prevent gum disease.
Apples are high in natural sugar, but they also come with lots of water and fiber. Eating apples increases your saliva production, rinsing away leftover food particles and lingering bacteria. Plus, the fibrous texture of apples stimulates your gums and acts like a toothbrush.
Carrots are a fantastic source of vitamin A, and, like apples, they also boost your salivary production. This lowers your risk of getting cavities or having dental decay. Eat raw carrots at the end of each meal to promote saliva production.
The fiber in this crunchy, water-rich vegetable scrapes away food particles and bacteria. This cleans your teeth and lowers your risk of cavities. Celery is also a great source of antioxidants, which promote gum health and a better smile.
Almonds are packed with calcium and protein but have little sugar. This makes them one of the healthiest snacks for your smile. Try munching on a small handful as a snack instead of reaching for a bag of chips, or add them to your oatmeal or salad for an oral health boost.
Professional help for a better smile
If you’re eating right and have regular dental exams but still aren’t happy with your smile, talk to your Dental Studios provider about whether cosmetic dentistry treatments might be right for you, including:
- Laser or at-home whitening
- Dental bonding
- Veneers or crowns
- Orthodontic alignment
Learn more by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Dental Studios in Summit or Westfield, New Jersey.