It is not uncommon for our oral health to suffer when we neglect our own diets, as most of us do not fully understand the long-term impacts our dietary choices will have on our teeth. The old adage, “We are what we eat,” is true when it comes to your dental health.

To develop tooth decay, only 3 things are needed:

  1. Teeth
  2. Sugar
  3. Plaque (The sticky stuff that forms on our teeth when we don’t thoroughly brush.)

If you have no sugar in your diet, you are missing one of the 3 critical things needed for tooth decay.  It’s really quite simple.  Reduce your sugar intake and you reduce your cavities.  If you consume large amounts of sugary sodas, snacks, and candies, you will have an increased risk for tooth decay and cavities.

North York Family Dentist Offers Tips to Maintain a Healthy Smile by Eating These Foods

Fortunately, there are several different types of healthy alternative options to choose from when reducing sugar.And these are not just better for your teeth, but also for your body (reducing risk of diabetes and inflammatory diseases.)

The following is just a small sampling of healthy foods you can snack on or include in your meals. However, keep in mind, eating these foods should not be viewed as a pass to reduce brushing and flossing your teeth.  The American Dental Association still recommends that we all brush at least 2 times each day, and be sure to maintain your regular visits to your family dentist in North York.

  • Raw Carrots – Carrots are full of Vitamin A and high in fibre. The crunchiness of the carrots helps remove plaque from the teeth and reduces the risks of tooth decay. They make great snacks and are perfect on salads.
  • Yogurt –Yogurt contains calcium and is a great source of protein to help maintain the health and strength of your teeth. The pro-biotics in certain brands helps reduce the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Just make sure to choose a brand that is not high in sugars or stick with plain yogurt and mix in some ground up almonds.
  • Almonds – Almonds are low in sugar, are a protein, and contain calcium. The crunchiness of the almonds can help remove plaque from the teeth, not to mention the calcium in almonds helps build stronger teeth.
  • Cheese – Cheese can be beneficial for healthy teeth and gums. Cheese contains calcium and is a protein – both of which help strengthen the teeth and enamel. In addition, cheese can help raise the pH levels in the mouth and reduce the number of cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Apples – Apples are one of the sweeter fruits you can enjoy because along with the sweetness, apples are full of water and fibre. Both help rinse away the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Just remember to eat the skin on apples, too, for the best benefits.
  • Greens – Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, celery, and other leafy greens contain different vitamins, calcium, fibre, and water. Not only are they low in calories, but also help reduce risks of tooth decay.

In addition to these foods, remember to watch what types of beverages you drink and limit your intake of coffee, teas, and carbonated beverages. Both coffee and teas can cause staining and could reduce the effectiveness of enamel on your teeth. Whereas, carbonated beverages often contain high amounts of corn syrup or other types of sugar, as well as citric acids, which can result in tooth decay and cavities.

Of course, the best beverage for your teeth and your body is drinking plenty of water. Water helps rinse away some of the cavity-causing bacteria and offers a host of other benefits. For more tips to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile, please feel free to contact Dr. Carol Waldman at 416.445.6000 today to book a consultation appointment!