The Best Diet for Strong Healthy Teeth

 

healthy teeth

Most of us are familiar with some of the basics of well-rounded nutritious eating. After all, we know that good food helps us maintain a strong and healthy body. But did you know that your diet also affects your oral health? Today, we’ll explain this, as well as how to maintain a tooth-friendly diet.

Healthy Teeth

Let’s start with some basics. Why are healthy teeth important?

In short, healthy teeth are vital to maintaining a good quality of life. Strong healthy teeth help us chew, eat, swallow, talk, and even smile. When our teeth become damaged, all of these everyday things become that much more difficult to do.

In addition to this, however, good oral health simply helps keep cavities and other painful oral conditions at bay.

What Do Healthy Teeth Look Like?

A set of healthy teeth will be strong, white-ish (we’ll talk more about this later), and free of any cracks, chips, or holes. The gums meanwhile, should be firm, and light pink in appearance. The most important gauge of healthy teeth, however, will be not how they look, but how they feel.

Healthy teeth should feel good – meaning no wiggling, pain, or sensitivity. If you experience sudden pain when chewing or touching a tooth, chances are, there’s a cavity hiding somewhere in your mouth. 

How White Should My Teeth Be?

Back to the whiteness aspect of your teeth. Unfortunately, most people’s teeth tend to lose some of their pearly whiteness with age. This means that unless you’re a small child with fresh new teeth, chances are that your teeth will not be perfectly white. The good news is that this is ok. A somewhat off-white color is still normal. 

However, if  your teeth have a strong discoloration, this is likely a sign that you’re not brushing your teeth correctly. In this case, you may want to consult with your dentist and work out a plan to improve your oral care habits.

Are Yellow Teeth Healthy?

Discoloration of the teeth may or may not be normal. Here’s what we mean:

As we mentioned earlier, most people do not have naturally pearly white teeth. Over the years, we drink a variety of liquids that can cause gradual discoloration. Tea and coffee, for example, are two such culprits. In addition to these lifestyle factors, there is also a genetic factor. Some people are simply predisposed to slightly yellower teeth.

Do keep in mind, however, that when we say slightly yellow teeth, we do mean slightly. Heavy discoloration is still a bad sign. Teeth should never be a deep yellow or orange color, nor should they have any dark discoloration.

The best way to know whether or not the appearance of your teeth is within a normal range is to consult with your dentist. A dentist can do a full check-up and cleaning of your teeth, and tell you whether or not there is an underlying oral condition causing the yellowing of your teeth.

How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

girl brushing her teeth

Keeping teeth healthy mostly comes down to one thing – good habits.

Daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash are the basis of a healthy set of teeth and gums. It’s also essential to do these steps properly. Try to brush your teeth thoroughly, and floss all the way through in between the teeth. When selecting a brush and toothpaste, ask your dentist for a recommendation – they will most likely know what’s best for your teeth.

As for those times when good habits just can’t keep all the cavities away, your dentist will be your safety net. Biannual check-ups allow your dentist to clean any leftover plaque gathering around your teeth, and inspect for any possible issues. 

During a check-up, your dentist can look for cavities, impacted wisdom teeth, thinning enamel, gum disease, and other common dental problems.

Vitamins and Minerals For Healthy Teeth

Now that we’ve established some good oral health habits, let’s get down to the meat and potatoes. Here are some common vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a set of healthy teeth.

Calcium

According to the ADA (American Dental Association), “calcium strengthens the hard outer shell of your tooth”, thereby protecting your teeth against cavities and other damage.

Phosphorus

According to Colgate, this mineral helps the body “absorb and use calcium and strengthens teeth by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel”.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an extremely important mineral that helps strengthen the outer enamel of your teeth, making your teeth more resilient to caries.

Foods For Healthy Teeth

Here are some common foods that are great for teeth.

Fruits

Yes, fruits are not only tasty, but they’re also good for your teeth. Apples, carrots, and celery are all great sources of fiber that help clean your teeth. Do keep in mind, however, that fruit still has a lot of sugar, so brushing after you eat them is an absolute must. 

Additionally, although whole fruits may be good for your teeth’s health, juice is usually not. That’s because juices have so much sugar and citrus in them, that they can wear down your teeth and/or increase your risk of developing cavities.

Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are not only low in harmful sugars, but they also contain numerous vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Spinach, kale, and asparagus, for example, are all great options.

Protein

Generally speaking, processed carbs aren’t that great for your teeth (on account of the fact that bacteria feeds on them). But you have to eat something, right? So for those times when you want to avoid bread, protein can be a great alternative. 

It’s low in carbs and high in phosphorus –  which as we’ve already mentioned, is a necessity for healthy teeth. Some great protein options are foods such as eggs, meat, and fish.

 

What Foods Are Bad For Your Teeth?

sugary food

Sugar

As you might have read in our previous blogs, the primary criminal when it comes to oral health is typically sugar.

Here’s a short explanation of why: 

We have a variety of bacteria that hang out in our mouths on a daily basis. When this bacteria eats sugars that are left on our teeth, they release an acid. The acid then wears down enamel, burrowing down into the tooth and creating a cavity.

Keep in mind that the longer the sugar stays on your teeth, the longer the bacteria have to feed off of it and produce acid. That’s why it’s always best to brush your teeth after you eat, and not to snack in between meals.

Food aside, however, there is something even worse for your teeth – sugary drinks. Juice, full-sugar sodas, cocktails, and sweet teas all undermine your oral health. Instead, try to opt for low-calorie options such as water.

Last Notes

Above all, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that keeps your body healthy all around. Don’t try to load up on just the fruits and veggies that are good for teeth – load up on all the fruits and veggies that your organs need.

If you’re ever unsure about what you should be eating, feel free to consult with your primary care physician and dentist. They’ll have plenty of great eating tips to get you on the right track.

Also, remember not to skimp out on your annual physicals and biannual dental check-ups. Even the best oral habits still need a little help sometimes. After all, you never know what plaque might be hidden on your back teeth.

Need a Pediatric Dentistry in Middle Tennessee?

Then you’re in just the right place. Here at Snodgrass-King Dental, we offer a variety of services for children and adults alike. We also have several offices serving the communities of Murfreesboro, Cool Springs, Nashville, and Spring Hill.

Our dentists are specially trained in pediatric dentistry and have decades of experience under their belt. They’ll make sure that your child is as comfortable as possible throughout their visit.

For adults, our dental clinics also offer services such as implants, fillings, crowns, veneers, and even extractions. Whatever your health concern is, we’ve got you covered.

Simply call or fill out our online form to book your first visit. You’ll be able to find all our new patient forms here on our website.