Food for thought

Good and bad foods for teeth.

There are certain foods to avoid if you want to be kind to your teeth; including sugary snacks such as sweets and fizzy drinks. But you might not know that there are also foods that are great for your teeth, as well as being good for your general health.

Let's take a look at the food and drink you should limit in your diet and those that should fill up your shopping trolley for keeping the best oral health!

Foods to avoid in large quantities

Although certain products like fruit juices may seem like a healthy option for your children, if they are consumed on a regular basis the high content of sugars can contribute to tooth decay, as well as have an impact on overall health. Here’s a list of foods and drinks that aren’t good for your teeth…

  •     Fizzy drinks like cola or lemonade
  •     Fruit juices
  •     Sweets
  •     Sugary cereals
  •     Pickles
  •     Dried fruits
  •     Acidic fruits like lemons or limes
  •     Sports or energy drinks
  •     Sugary spreads like jam and honey

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce the harmful acids. So it is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. You can also try substituting sugary drinks with ‘safe’ drinks for your teeth, such as milk or water.

Foods to stock up on

All antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, help to protect your gums as well as contributing to good general health. You can find these in lots of foods and drinks, including;

  •     green tea
  •     broccoli
  •     carrots
  •     sweet potatoes
  •     pumpkin
  •     spinach

Foods high in calcium and other minerals such as magnesium, boron, zinc and phosphorous are also important in a balanced diet. Include these minerals in your diet by eating:

  •     Dairy products, such as cheese and milk
  •     Fish
  •     Sesame seeds
  •     Chicken
  •     Eggs
  •     Turkey
  •     Nuts

Eating raw vegetables like celery, carrots and cucumber is a healthy way to snack. These snacks, as well as being part of your healthy “five a day”, won’t put your teeth at risk of decay.

Sticking to a balanced diet and cutting down snacking will benefit your oral health, but if you have any questions about how to keep your teeth in tip top condition, speak to your dentist and their team about which foods affect your teeth more than others and what you can do to take care of them.

Published: July 11th, 2013

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It's important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes