Food choice is an often an under-appreciated aspect of good dental health. You might be surprised to see just how many of the foods you eat may be causing some of your dental problems.
See if you can guess which food item is the better choice for healthy teeth.
Black Tea vs. Orange Juice
Winner: Black Tea
Why?: A recent study by the University of Chicago found that people who rinse their mouths with black tea several times a day for at least a minute have far fewer cavities than the general public. Tea prevents bacterial growth in plaque, while also reducing the stickiness of plaque on your teeth. Black tea also contains polyphenols that can prevent bad breath.
Orange juice is a healthy option, because of the vitamin C. However, the acidic content of orange juice erodes tooth enamel. If you drink orange juice, rinse your mouth with water when you’re done.
Dried Fruit vs. Gum
Winner: Gum (sugarless)
Why?: Dried fruit contains many of the nutrients you need for a healthy body, but dried fruit is extremely sticky. Pieces find their way between your teeth, and even with a good flossing, the pieces are hard to dislodge.
Gum, specifically sugarless gum, actually promotes a healthy mouth. The act of chewing increases your saliva secretions, which wash away bacteria before they have a chance to cause plaque. Sugarless gum is your best choice, because it lacks the sugar bacteria use to feed themselves.
Beets vs. Cranberries
Why?: Both foods are bitter and dark red, with the ability to stain your teeth when you eat them. Though beets have health benefits for the rest of your body, their staining power can cause permanent changes to your teeth.
Cranberries, while they can also stain, contain the same polyphenols as black tea. The chemical makes it difficult for plaque to stick to the surface of your teeth, so you are less likely to develop cavities. As long as you drink or eat sugar-free cranberry creations, you receive all of the health benefits, and few of the drawbacks.
Cucumber vs. Kale
Why?: Kale has been one of the most talked about health foods over the last few years and, in moderation, kale is an excellent food. Recent research has shown that overeating kale can cause problems with your thyroid, as well as your teeth. Bioflavonoids in kale have corrosive properties that erode tooth enamel over time.
Cucumbers are one of the best crunchy foods for dental health. The act of chewing cucumbers and carrots creates a mechanical cleaning motion, like your toothbrush, as you eat. The pieces of food abrade the plaque and bacteria, cleaning your mouth with each chew.
Red Meat vs. Bread
Winner: Red Meat
Why?: There is evidence to show red meat is a valuable ally in promoting healthy teeth. Red meat contains a significant amount of phosphorus. The phosphorus works with calcium to fill in tiny breaks or lesions in your tooth enamel, reversing some undetectable decay.
Bread wreaks havoc on your mouth, because of the starch and sugar. As you eat bread, the saliva in your mouth breaks the pieces into a sugar slurry that coats every surface of your teeth and the spaces between. Whole wheat and multi-grain breads are a healthier alternative.
Tribeca Dental Care
Prevention is an important part of a healthy dental plan, but it is only one of steps that you need to take to maintain good dental hygiene. Contact us today to schedule a regular dental checkup to ensure your prevention and cleaning efforts are having the effect you want.