Diet and Teeth Care: A Guide

closeup biting strawberry

Well, if you’re not careful you can lose your teeth in no time. Skateboarding is one activity, for instance. Ice hockey is another. And if you really want to stretch it, taking up mixed martial arts or MMA is killing it. And that’s the least of your troubles if you take up full-contact martial arts. Like many boxers and MMA athletes before you, losing one’s teeth is a regular phenomenon while in the ring. The problem with teeth is if you lose some of it, you may not get another one quite like it.

But unbeknownst to many of us, it’s not only dangerous things that we do that can endanger teeth. Stupid things such as using your molars to open a bottle of beer could have a sad ending for your shining white teeth. Worse, there are foods that could sabotage the health of your teeth. If you’re not too careful, you can have a masticatory accident. Stones in veggies or rice could lead to craze lines on your choppers.

To be fair about it, food can also bring the best of your teeth out. If that has you confused, fret not. We’re showing you two kinds of food and their effects on your masticators. In the end, it’s all about being wary of the things you put in your mouth.

The Bad Guys

candies

Before we give you a scare, know there are ways you can take good care of your teeth daily to prevent tooth decay and other complications. Orthodontic appliances and other treatment options, for example, can improve your ability to chew on food and align your jaws, not to mention boost your overall appearance.

Still, there are everyday foods that can bring harm to your teeth. There’s no other way about it. You got to stay away from these foods as much as possible.

  • Sticky sweets/candies. We’re not telling you not to eat sweets. But a good rule of thumb is to choose what kind of sweets you indulge in. Right off the bat, know you should only cater to sweets that don’t linger in your mouth for far too long. Top of this list is caramels and lollipops. Even cough drops are not a good idea.

What about chocolates? Well, there’s a lot of media saying chocolates do prevent cavities (mostly sponsored by the industry itself). The truth of the matter is government data shows chocolates are not as harmful as sticky candies. They wash off the mouth easily.

  • Starchy foods. The longer foods stay in your mouth, the more damage they can do. So limit on the soft bread and those crunchy potato chips, they could be your #1 source of teeth-destroying plaque.
  • Carbonated drinks. Ever heard of them? Who hasn’t right? But buyers beware. Too many soft drinks can be harmful to your teeth. Take note these drinks are the top source of added sugar for young kids. Sugars in your soda can interact with bacteria in your mouth (it’s there no doubt) to produce acids that attack teeth. Every time you down a bottle, you’re actually looking at about 20 minutes of teeth under acid attack.
  • Substances that Leave Your Mouth Dry. Well, it may not seem obvious but a dry mouth is bad news for your teeth. It can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and increased plaque. So, minimize the alcohol if you want to keep those pearly whites in good condition.

The Good Guys

fruits and vegetables

  • Fruits and veggies. Fiber keeps your teeth and your gums clean. So fruits and veggies with all the fiber they carry are good news for your molars. Why? They can get your saliva flowing, and that’s good for teeth health. Saliva is your best friend as it can protect your teeth against gum disease and cavities. Take note that saliva carries traces of phosphate and calcium, both teeth-strengthening elements.
  • Dairy products. We’re talking about milk and yogurt among other dairy products. What makes these dairy products useful is they help produce saliva in your mouth. And then there’s the case for calcium. Calcium in these dairy products makes available helpful minerals that were lost due to eating other foods.
  • Green/Black tea. So if you’re a tea guy, this should be welcome news. Know that these types of tea have strong concentrations of polyphenols, natural elements that counter the effects of bad bacteria.
  • Sugarless chewing gum. Haven’t you thought about it? Gums aren’t just there to help you attain a more adorable breath but also they can help you salivate.
  • Fluoride-containing foods. Recall toothpaste manufacturer’s obsession with fluoride? Well, fluoride is another ally. It makes your teeth stronger by making them resistant to acid attacks brought about by sugars in the mouth and the formation of plaque bacteria.

Knowing what they can do to your teeth is a good start. It shows you what foods matter most.

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