Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Your dentist’s ability to monitor your smile for changes over time is an essential tool to ensure you are not overlooking critical dental issues. However, while professional dental cleanings are an essential way to remove the plaque and dental buildup that can lead to tooth decay, keeping your teeth healthy is a process that begins at home.
Daily brushing is the first and most well-known step to a healthy smile, but did you know that eating a healthy diet can also help you maintain good oral health between dental visits? We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you promote healthy teeth at home.
- Stay away from sticky or chewy snacks. Foods like gummies, jellybeans, caramel, chewy cookies, granola bars, and even raisins can all stick to your teeth and are resistant to being washed away by saliva. As a result, any sugars present have extended access to the plaque on the tooth's surface and form acids as the two substances interact, causing tooth decay.
- Avoid overly sugary foods. Foods like candy, sodas, cookies, and more contribute to tooth decay as they contain a great deal of sugar that can linger on the teeth. Worse are treats like hard candies, sugary gum, or lozenges like cough drops, which expose the teeth to a bath of sugar over a long period of time.
- Drink plenty of water. Choosing water instead of sugary drinks like juice or soda limits your mouth’s exposure to excessive sugar content. As an added bonus, water helps to wash away the food residue left on your teeth and contributes to saliva production to do the same.
- Get plenty of calcium. Ensuring you eat the recommended amount of calcium daily helps to build strong teeth. Foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and broccoli provide a significant amount of calcium and are a part of a healthy diet.
- Choose crunchy fruits and vegetables with high water content. These fruits and vegetables, such as melons, apples, pears, celery, cucumbers, and more, are low in carbohydrates. In addition, they may help to remove excess plaque from the surface of your teeth.
- Choose cheese as a snack. Certain types of cheese, including firm, aged cheeses like Swiss, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar, contribute to healthy saliva production. As a result, food particles left on your teeth are washed away, preventing tooth decay.
- Eat any sugary foods after a meal. Eating a full meal and consuming a healthy beverage contributes to saliva production, much like the above-mentioned cheeses. Limiting your consumption of sugary foods to the minutes following a meal ensures any sugar is washed away from your teeth’s surface.
For more information about how you can maintain a diet healthy for your teeth, consult with your dentist. If you’d like to find a certified dental professional in your area, Emergency Dental Services can help. Simply call 1-888-350-1340 or reach out online to request a list of dentists near you.