Your first line of defense against tooth decay is enamel. Your enamel is the outer-most covering on your teeth. Its role is to protect the dentin and tooth pulp beneath it. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body, it can still be broken down as a result of what you eat. Because enamel can’t naturally regenerate, it’s a good idea to be conscious of what you are consuming.
Acid is the number one culprit of tooth decay. It eats away at the enamel causing it to weaken. When this happens, your teeth are at risk for rapid decay. Common signs are oral pain, tooth loss, infection, and gum disease. Protecting your enamel is a vital part of good oral health. Per usual, clean your teeth twice a day and avoid these harmful foods while you’re at it:
- Fruit Juice
- Sugary Snacks (cakes, cookies, and chewy candies)
- Starchy Snacks (potato chips, pretzels, bread, cornmeal)
- Citrus Fruit (oranges, lemons, limes)
- Alcohol (it causes mouth dehydration)
Now, don’t start throwing away all of the food in your fridge. Some foods that contain similar ingredients, but not the same concentration, aid in strengthening your enamel. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Food rich with Calcium, Vitamin D, and Phosphorus support bone strengthening and teeth maintenance. You’d be surprised to learn that there are a lot of foods out there that help more than harm. A good example is cheese. Cheese has high levels of calcium and phosphate. It also helps balance the pH level in your mouth, which means more saliva and less acid. You can find these types of ingredients in a number of foods like leafy greens, almonds, and salmon too.
Here is a breakdown of what certain foods are helpful for your teeth, and what main ingredients promote a healthier mouth:
- Vitamin D: milk, salmon, soy and rice beverages.
- Phosphorus: eggs, meat, and fish
- Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, mangoes, kale, and red peppers
- Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, cantaloupe
- Magnesium: bananas, whole grains, spinach
- Fiber: watermelon, spinach, apples
Another thing you should be doing is drinking a lot of water. Water promotes salivation. Your saliva is your body’s natural defense against cavities. It contains antimicrobial agents that fight against cavity formation. It also washes away the debris so prolonged acid attacks don’t happen.
Healthy eating combined with brushing and flossing will set your smile up for success. Your mouth will be thanking you for beautiful strong teeth. If you need a dental cleaning or checkup be sure to give us a call to schedule an appointment today. It’s never too late to care for your teeth.