We consume a range of different foods each day and it’s difficult to believe that some foods are actually beneficial to our teeth and the overall hygiene levels within our mouths. The most powerful and constant messages we receive about maintaining good teeth and keeping our mouths hygienic and healthy are to brush our teeth twice daily and that sugar damages our teeth.
If you’d like to know a little more about what food and drinks are good and bad for your teeth, here’s a short guide.
Raisins = Good – Raisins do not contain sucrose, unlike everyday unrefined sugar, and therefore whilst they are sweet, which we’d associate with sugar they will not increase plaque. In fact they appear to contain phytochemicals, which fights cavity causing bacteria. This reduction also lessens the chance of gum disease too.
Ice = Bad – Better to enjoy a cold glass of water than think that chewing on ice is harmless for your teeth. It’s true that ice doesn’t contain sugar, but it does pose some of the threats that eating a hard / boiled sweet would cause. Whilst it will not lead to the build-up of plaque, there is still the potential to cause damage to your teeth, including chips and damage to your teeth enamel.
Tea = Good – Drank without the addition of sugar, black tea does slow the growth of bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. Polyphenols are compounds found in black and green tea and these slow the growth of the bacteria. Drinking the tea lessens the chances of the bacteria being able to clump together, so not only does it slow down the processes relating to gum disease and cavities, it can also reduce bacteria that leads to bad breath.
Lemon & Lime = Bad – These citric fruits should be taken in moderation, due to the acids they contain which can erode the teeth. It’s worth drinking a lot of water in conjunction with the intake of these acids. It might seem a healthy idea to add a bit of lemon or lime to a glass of water, but in excess this really can cause damage and should be avoided if you have mouth sores too.
Milk = Good – After dried fruit, milk can reduce the acids that cause bacteria. Similarly to milk, eating cheese can also have this effect. However, the mere processing of chewing activates saliva, which acts as a river washing away some of the acids that do cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Alcohol = Bad – Excessive drinking causes dehydration and this restricts the flow of saliva within your mouth. This leads to dry mouth leading to oral infections (such as gum disease) and tooth decay.
Cranberries = Good – In their purist form, cranberries contain Polyphenols, which may prevent the plaque sticking to your teeth. However, be weary, because due to their tart taste many add sugar to the cranberries to give them a more pleasant flavour and this will not be good for your teeth.
For further advice about good and bad food and drink that effect your teeth and gums speak to Harbour Dental Care in Ipswich.