Best Foods, Worst Foods for Teeth
Preventive care is the best way to deal with dental health, and one of the best ways to do this is to include as part of a healthy diet, foods that benefit the teeth and to exclude those that, when eaten in excess, could harm the teeth.
Matthew Messina, an Ohio-based dentist and spokesman for the American Dental Association recommends a guide of foods that can have a big impact on dental health. It includes strawberries, which contain malic acid, a natural whitener for tooth enamel. They can be used at home as teeth-whitening treatment, by simply crushing a strawberry, mixing it with baking soda, and spreading the mixture on the teeth with a soft toothbrush.
Milk and other calcium-rich dairy products are essential for healthy teeth, since they help strengthen tooth enamel and the bones. Dairy products like cheese also contain a protein called casein, which along with calcium, plays an important role in repairing and stabilizing tooth enamel.
Messina also suggests chewing sugar-free gum, which helps clean the teeth by stimulating saliva production. Saliva washes away acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and bathes the teeth in phosphate and calcium. Sugarless gum containing alcohol called xylitol also reduces bacteria. However, a 2011 study suggests that mint-flavored gum is better than other fruit-flavored gums, which can harm the teeth with their acidity.
Chewing fiber-rich foods like leafy vegetables and beans also promotes saliva production and helps wash away bacteria from the teeth.
Water with fluoride helps wash away sugars and acid from the teeth and protects against tooth erosion.
Foods to avoid for dental health include acidic foods like pickles, grapefruit and lemon juice, which can erode tooth enamel over time. Carbonated, sugary beverages also harm the teeth with both sugary and acidic ingredients. Both red and white wine contain acids that can erode and discolor the teeth.
Gardner, A. Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth. Yahoo.