Food for Healthy Teeth and Gums: 5 Snacks You Should Choose

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What snack food can you eat for healthy teeth and gums?

There’s a popular saying that goes, “You are what you eat.” It’s to be taken partly in jest, but there’s definitely a lot of reality in those few simple words. What you choose to put into your body will determine your weight, energy level, skin health, mental ability, emotional state, and other health factors. The one thing many people seem to forget, though, is the impact that foods and beverages have on your dental health.

As any dentist will tell you, it’s imperative that you consider eating the right types of food for healthy teeth and gums. It’s also important that you understand what should be either avoided or ingested in moderation. Therefore, let’s take a look at five snacks you should consider eating or drinking, plus a few that you should try to avoid or enjoy in moderation.

5 Snack Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums

To get started, let’s take a lot at a few types of food for healthy teeth and gums:

  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables — These food items not only have a cleaning effect on teeth and gums, but they also get the saliva flowing which washes away bacteria. Next to daily dental care, this is the best way to keep your teeth healthy.
  • Dairy items (milk, cheese, plain yogurt, etc.) — We were all told as kids that dairy products were important for building healthy bones and teeth. Turns out that was true. Dairy products replace minerals that your teeth might have lost because of other foods.
  • Fluoridated drinking water — Fluoridated water and any beverages that you make with it (such as powdered juices) are good for your teeth and gums. The fluoride protects the enamel from plaque and sugars.
  • Green and black teas — These types of teas contain micronutrients called polyphenols that either kill bacteria or prevent it from growing or creating acid that’s damaging to your teeth. Make the tea with fluoridated water and you have a great one-two punch!
  • Sugarless chewing gum — Many types of chewing gum are filled with sugar, which definitely isn’t good for your teeth. Sugarless gum, however, increases the production of saliva that helps wash away food particles.

Snacks That Should Be Eaten in Moderation or Not at All

Now, let’s explore a few snacks that are unhealthy for teeth and gums:

  • Carbonated soft drinks — Whether you call them pop or soda, these drinks are extremely bad for your teeth because they contain high amounts of sugar. It’s even worse if you nurse one at your desk for half the day because your saliva doesn’t have a chance to wash away the sugars.
  • Starchy foods — Many starchy foods such as a potato chips and soft breads have a tendency to get stuck between your teeth. If these small pieces don’t become dislodged right away, they can sit there for a long period of time and cause damage to your teeth.
  • Sticky candies/sweets — If you have a sweet tooth, your best bet is to eat chocolate because it washes off your teeth easily and quickly. Dark chocolate with 70% cacao even has some health benefits. The candies and sweets to avoid include lollipops, caramels, and hard candies.
  • Drinks that dry out your mouth — Anything that dries out your mouth can promote tooth decay and gum problems. Alcohol is infamous for this, but you may also have problems with certain medicines. If you can’t avoid specific medicines, consider a daily fluoride rinse.

Contact Dr. Ferullo’s St. Petersburg Dental Office for Preventive Dental Care

Learning the best types of food for healthy teeth and gums is a lot easier when you have an experienced dentist in St. Pete by your side. Dr. Ferullo has been providing dental services in St. Petersburg for over 30 years and can take care of all your dental needs. To find out about our free teeth whitening or to schedule an appointment, call (727) 822-8101 today.

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