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Which Foods Help Prevent Cavities?

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, here in San Antonio at the office of Advanced Dental Associates. We got a great response on our last blog, “How Do I Avoid Painful Cavities.” Many of our patients have asked what foods and beverages they should avoid, and which they should eat. For that reason, we’ve decided to dedicate today’s blog to a ‘eat this, not that’ in terms of the health of your teeth.

Don’t Eat Chewy Candies

Certain candies can be really hard on your teeth. Sticky candies like a lollipop, gummy worms, caramels, or LifeSavers cling to your teeth long after you eat them. Unlike with most foods, your saliva is largely ineffective in removing them from your teeth.

Even brushing can miss microscopic particles of candy, if you do not take your time in brushing. These particles attract bacteria, and turn into acidic plaque, which eats away at the enamel of your teeth.

Eat a Three Musketeers or Chew Gum Instead

Everybody enjoys candy, and completely eliminating it from your diet probably isn’t feasible. Instead you should make smarter choices about the candy you consume, and eat that in moderation.

A candy bar made from nougat or malted milk is a good choice; Three Musketeers or Whoppers are two of the most common varieties. Candies such as these tend to stick to your teeth far less than candy bars made with caramel or peanut butter. This allows your saliva to dissolve remaining particles from the candy more quickly, slowing the growth of plaque.

But your best choice for candy is a stick of sugar-free gum, boring as that may seem. Chewing sugar-free gum increases the saliva production in your mouth, which helps wash away bacteria and food particles from your teeth. This helps to prevent acidic plaque from weakening the enamel of your teeth.

Limit the Intake of Your Carbohydrates

Would it surprise you to learn that potato chips can be as bad for your teeth as candy? It’s true, and other foods such as white bread, pasta, and crackers can be just as dangerous for your teeth.

Foods that are high in carbohydrates and starch tend to be made from white flour. These simple carbohydrates quickly breakdown into simple sugars; these sugars then tend to linger in your mouth and cling to your teeth. The sugars then attract bacteria, which quickly turns into plaque. This plaque causes painful cavities.

Eat Fiber Rich Foods Instead

Fiber helps to stimulate the flow of saliva in your mouth. As has been discussed, this is a natural defense against plaque and thus cavities. Saliva not only helps wash away bacteria promoting food particles, it also neutralizes some of the acids attacking the enamel of your teeth.

Fiber can be found in a variety of places. Whole grains are an easy way to increase your fiber intake. You can find pasta, crackers, and bread made from whole grains. All are a better choice for protecting your teeth.

But fiber rich fruits and vegetables are probably the best source of fiber when it comes to protecting your teeth. Tasty options include celery, carrots, apples, spinach, squash, pears, and a whole host of beans.

Don’t Drink Soda

Soda can be one of the most damaging things you do to your teeth on a daily basis. Many people believe they are in the clear because they drink clear soda or diet soda. But regardless of sugar content, all soda promote the erosion of your enamel.

Soda is extremely acidic, and can actually be used as a cleaning product to remove rust. Not only will it remove rust, it will also dissolve the enamel of your teeth. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to the sugars in the drink or other foods you eat.

Drink Milk Instead

Milk is high in calcium, phosphates and vitamin D. These minerals all help to contribute to the health of your teeth. When you drink milk, the calcium actually mixes with the plaque on your teeth, which slows the plaque’s ability to erode your enamel.

If you’re allergic to milk, or don’t like it, don’t despair. Other calcium-fortified beverages can be just as effective in promoting the health of your teeth.

Visit The Dentist

No matter what you eat or drink, there’s simply no substitute for regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Dental Cleanings help to remove plaque from your teeth, keeping your mouth full of healthy teeth and free from cavities. Click here to make an appointment at Advanced Dental Associates. We are proud to serve San Antonio, TX.

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