Foods That Protect Your Teeth
Written by: Kaitlyn Meyer (Dental Hygiene Assistant) & Dr. Carly Peterschmidt
Food—now, this is something we can all relate to! We all need proper nutrition for our bodies and minds to stay active and healthy. Did you know that the food you eat also affects the health of your teeth? Below, you will find a few specific examples of foods that can help protect your teeth:
- Cheese, Milk, Plain Yogurt, Calcium-Fortified Tofu, Leafy Greens & Almonds. The calcium found within these products helps build, strengthen, and maintain strong tooth enamel. Cheese, in particular, has been known to increase the pH of the saliva to resist acids that form tooth decay. Folic acids found within leafy greens are known to improve gingival health in pregnant women.
- Meat, Poultry, Fish, Milk & Eggs. These protein-rich foods are excellent sources of phosphorus, which help reinforce and strengthen tooth enamel.
- Fruits & Vegetables. The dense fibers, high water content, and vitamins found in foods like these are a great defense against bacteria, debris, and surface stains. Vitamin C improves gum health and wound healing. Vitamin A helps reinforce the enamel.
- Water. Fluoridated water is the most protective beverage for the teeth. Water, in general, has a neutral pH to buffer acids that are formed from sugars in the diet to prevent dental decay. Fluoride is a mineral that can be applied to teeth to help reinforce and strengthen the enamel in both children and adults. Studies show that communities having controlled levels of fluoride within the city water system have 25% less dental decay.
In general, foods high in calcium, protein, fiber, and water content are exceptionally good for the teeth. A healthy diet, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, is a recipe for success. We hope this information will help you to make healthy food choices to benefit your oral health.