How Does Your Diet Affect Your Oral Health?

how does diet affect oral health what foods are good/bad for teeth

How Does Your Diet Affect Your Oral Health?

Did you know that what you eat has a direct effect on your oral health? For example, a diet high in acidic foods can damage your protective tooth enamel, slowly wearing it away. On the other hand, one that is rich in minerals like calcium, vitamin A, and phosphorus can preserve and strengthen your tooth enamel. So, how does diet affect oral health and what can we do to support a healthy mouth?

Our eating habits are essential to many parts of life, and dental health is no exception. When it comes to our oral health we need to know what foods we’re eating that may be harming us, and which ones promote healthy teeth and gums.

What Foods Are Bad for Your Teeth?

Highly Acidic Foods

Examples of highly acidic foods include citrus fruits and juices, grapes, tomatoes and tomato sauce, lemon juice, coffee, and soda. The gradual dissolving of tooth enamel can go unnoticed until someone experiences tooth sensitivity or even pain. You can keep this from happening to you by limiting your intake of acidic foods and drinks. 

Sugary Snacks 

Highly palatable foods are an easy go-to for many of us. Their convenience makes them difficult to avoid. However, they can be sneaky culprits that contribute to tooth decay, gingivitis, or bad breath. It’s better for the health of your mouth, and your overall wellbeing, to forgo processed foods and sugary beverages. 

High sugar content is not always obvious. Foods like corn, rice, honey, and tapioca syrup are pretty clear. A few we may overlook are juice concentrates and molasses, but sugar goes by a lot of names, so when you’re reading labels remember that ingredients like fructose, sucrose, maltose, and dextrose are all sugars. 

Options we assume are healthy for our diet like dried fruit, yogurt, granola bars, or sports drinks can all have hidden sugars as well. Be careful what you choose to snack on, and if you do reach for a sugary snack, have a drink of water, wait 30 minutes, and then brush your teeth. 

What Foods Are Good for Teeth?

Eating foods that have minerals like calcium and phosphorus will help keep your mouth healthy by protecting your tooth enamel. Calcium strengthens the outer layer of your teeth, which in turn defends them against cavities and decay. 

Phosphorus is necessary for repairing cells and soft tissues like your gums, and it works closely with calcium to create resilient teeth. Foods that support good oral health are nuts, legumes, leafy greens, potatoes, garlic, eggs, and red meat, among others. Fruits and vegetables also make great snack choices because they include water, fiber, and minerals with every bite.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Sun Lake, Arizona

Dr. Saba & Associates will provide you with exceptional care for all your dental needs, from regular cleanings, to caring for your dentures, to non-surgical gum disease treatments and more. We are committed to serving our patients with personalized care, and making their visits as comfortable as can be. Contact us to make an appointment or find out more about how we can best serve you. 



Photo by cottonbro studio | from on 4.16.24 | used under the creative commons license