4 Eating Tips for Healthier Teeth

Do you know how your diet impacts your oral health? Candy and sodas are well known for their negative impact on your teeth, but the reality is that your food choices can actually improve your oral health.

Here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, Dr. David Blaustein serves the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City through comprehensive dental care, including routine exams and cleanings

We know that good oral care doesn’t stop with routine cleanings. Your at-home care and your diet play a big role in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Here are four eating tips that support healthy teeth and gums.

1. Focus on nutrient-dense foods

Your diet affects your mental and physical well-being — and that includes your teeth. A healthy, balanced plate should contain:

Fruits and vegetables

Raw, crisp fruits and vegetables (such as apples, carrots, bell peppers) can help scrub plaque off your teeth and freshen your breath. Not only this, but the vitamin C and antioxidants in fresh produce can support healthy gums too.

Grains

Whole grains contain magnesium and vitamin B; magnesium promotes strong teeth, and vitamin B supports healthy gums. Skip the refined grains (which can contain a lot of sugar) and focus instead on whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and millet.

Dairy products

Dairy products contain vitamin D and calcium, both of which help to keep your teeth strong. Good choices include milk, cheese, and Greek yogurt. Need another reason to snack on a piece of cheese? Studies show that eating cheese after a meal can reduce your risk of getting a cavity. 

Protein

You probably know that protein is important for building muscles and feeling satiated, but how does protein impact your oral health? Lean protein sources like chicken and fish contain phosphorus. This nutrient also helps to keep your teeth strong.

2. Brush your teeth after meals and snacks

Even if your meals are healthy, it’s still important to brush your teeth after you eat. Brushing removes food debris and decay-causing bacteria from your mouth. If you can’t brush your teeth, you might consider chewing a piece of sugar-free gum.

According to the American Dental Association, sugar-free gum can increase your saliva production and help reduce the risk of cavities.

3. Avoid sipping drinks

If you slowly sip coffee or other acidic drinks, you may be unintentionally harming your teeth enamel. That’s because the slower you sip, the longer your teeth are exposed to the acids in your beverage. Instead of sipping on your coffee or tea all morning, try to drink it in one sitting. 

Bonus tip: Rinse your mouth with water after you drink coffee to reduce the risk of staining.

4. Limit sugary drinks and snacks

Sugar is one of the biggest contributors to tooth decay. Sugar alone doesn’t cause cavities, but it’s the chain of events triggered by sugar consumption that leads to decay. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, they secrete acid that dissolves and damages your enamel. 

To reduce the risk of cavities, it’s important to monitor sugar intake. Sugar can be hidden in many places, including drinks, breads, and breakfast cereal. It also may be hidden in nutrition labels under the guise of syrups, words ending in -ose, and fruit nectars.

It’s impossible to avoid all sugar; even fresh fruit contains sugar. The key is to limit excessive sugar intake and always remember to brush your teeth after consuming any sugar.

Don’t forget your regular cleanings 

In addition to following a healthy diet and maintaining at-home oral care routines, sticking to your schedule of routine exams and cleanings is essential for healthy teeth.

If you have questions about your nutrition and how it impacts your teeth, or you’d like to schedule your routine cleaning, call our Manhattan office at 917-633-7312. You can also book your appointment online.

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