At any moment, hundreds of types of oral bacteria live in your mouth, metabolizing nutrients and forming plaque to cling to your teeth. Therefore, part of a good hygiene routine is being careful with what you eat and how often to limit the damage that harmful bacteria can cause. With all of the warnings about sugars, carbs, and acidic substances, you might wonder if there is anything you can eat that’s actually good for your oral health. Fortunately, not all food is bad for your teeth. In fact, your teeth need certain nutrients to stay strong and healthy, and making sure you get enough of them is vital to ensuring your smile’s health in the long-run.
A Healthy Diet for Your Smile
Your teeth are not made of bone, as many people mistakenly believe, but they are extremely similar. Though stronger than bone, your teeth contain many of the same minerals—particularly, calcium. Along with phosphate, calcium is the building block of the enamel that protects your teeth, as well as the main structure of your tooth, called dentin. Get enough calcium in your diet by including:
- Fruits and veggies (especially green leafy vegetables)
- Dairy (or dairy-free alternatives that contain calcium)
- Meat (beef, chicken, and turkey)
- Chocolate (which also contains antioxidants that help fight dental disease)
What You Should Stay Away From
Most foods that are considered healthy for you are also healthy for your smile. The same is true for unhealthy foods. Bingeing on sweets and junk food, especially multiple times a day, can give harmful oral bacteria the fuel they need to attack your teeth and gums. Sugar is one of the best-known culprits; it feeds the bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, which convert the sugar into acids that erode enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to decay.
If you brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and get plenty of healthy minerals and nutrients in your diet, then you have a good chance of keeping your smile healthy for life. Schedule your appointment by calling our dental office in Sunnyvale, CA at (408) 720-0900, or toll free at (877) 9-DENTAL.