People who sip a sugary beverage slowly through the day or consume lots of sucking candy may be doing considerable harm to their teeth. Even cough drops should be used only when necessary during cough and cold season.
That’s because both liquids and solid foods high in sugar can leave a continuous coating on the teeth when eaten over the course of a few hours. Some foods, including many snacks, also stick to the teeth and allow bacteria to multiply in the mouth. Candies, sugary desserts and pastries, dried fruits and starchy foods such as potato chips, pretzels and French fries are among the culprits.
A healthy alternative snack is a handful of nuts. Peanuts and almonds contain calcium and walnuts have a host of minerals as well as fiber. Cashews even stimulate saliva to help clean the teeth between visits to the dentist.
Sugar substitutes added to food and beverages won’t increase bacteria in the mouth as sugar does because they aren’t digested in the same way. However, people should beware of natural sugars such as molasses, honey and fructose, which can be just as damaging to teeth a granulated sugar.
Foods for dental health
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can strengthen teeth and gums, in addition to building the body’s immunity against disease. A wide range of fruits, especially berries, can reduce sugar cravings while supplying the body with antioxidants that boost the immune system.
One way to prevent tooth decay is to add crunch to the diet. According to WebMD, crunchy foods such as apples, pears, celery and carrots help scrape away damaging plaque build-up and remove surface stains caused by coffee, tea and red wine.
In addition, fruits and vegetables also have high water content that can dilute the effect of sugar and acids and stimulate saliva to wash away food particles. But if you’re a lover of acidic ingredients such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, eat them with other foods to reduce the effects of the acids they contain.
Other foods that can improve dental and bone health are those that contain lots of calcium and phosphorus – dairy products, nuts and chicken. They have a unique ability to “remineralize” teeth, a natural process that deposits minerals onto the tooth enamel that is removed by acidic foods. A dietary supplement such as Calmax from Dr. Newton’s Naturals also helps to fortify the body with high amounts of calcium and magnesium.