According to the Association of Health Care Journalists, 91% of adults aged 20-64 have cavities and up to 27% of those have existing tooth decay that’s yet to be addressed. How come so many people have cases of tooth decay and developed cavities? It may be what they’re eating and drinking! That’s right, nutrition—or lack thereof—plays a vital role in how healthy your teeth are. Your dentist in North Raleigh, Dr. Philip A. Lisk, wants you to know what foods to indulge in and which ones to avoid to optimize your oral health.
3 Foods Your North Raleigh Dentist Recommends You Eat Daily
Just like any other body part, your teeth and gums need nutritious foods to stay strong. When grocery shopping, pick up nutritious foods full of vitamins and minerals like these:
Add fun color to your diet with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables!
High fiber foods are some of the best foods for your smile. Their crunchy nature naturally scrubs your smile free of debris when you chew and simultaneously create stimulate saliva flow. Creating more natural saliva is beneficial to your teeth because it neutralizes acids, contains natural calcium, and even embodies natural phosphates that help rebuild minerals that keep your smile strong. Dr. Lisk recommends that you eat high water-level foods like apples, carrots, and crunchy celery to naturally clean plaque off your teeth. These healthy foods also keep your breath fresher for longer periods of time.
Drink water every day—with every meal!
When it comes to your oral or overall health, water offers nearly unlimited benefits. It’s the primary component to saliva, which is important in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Water also keeps your mouth hydrated so you don’t suffer from the effects of dry mouth or develop chronic bad breath. Not to mention, you can drink fluoride-enriched water to strengthen your tooth enamel!
Nuts are an easy, nutritious snack to incorporate into your everyday diet!
Many nuts provide vitamins and minerals that will keep your teeth, gums, and jawbone strong. Snack on peanuts to increase your levels of calcium and vitamin D. Almonds are also full of calcium and cashews stimulate natural saliva flow. Walnuts are one of the best nuts to pack in your lunchbox. They have the highest amounts of fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium, and zinc. Get to snacking!
3 Foods to Avoid for Your Smile
The worst thing you can do for your smile is to indulge in loads of acidic foods and drinks. It’s best for both your dental and overall health to eliminate these foods and drinks from your diet.
Avoid candy—especially if it’s sticky!
The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your mouth. Taffies and caramels could be your favorite candy, but they’re your teeth’s worst enemy. Their sticky nature finds ways to fit in between the crevices of your teeth and stay there. The sugars deteriorate your teeth by eroding enamel and build bacteria in your mouth.
Avoid soda altogether!
Soda can be refreshing one minute, then have you feeling thirsty the next. It’s because of the elevated levels of sugar and acid in each can. Next time check the label before sipping! Drinking too much can turn your mouth into a breeding ground for cavities. Not only that, but dark sodas can discolor your white teeth.
Carbs stick to your ribs—and your teeth!
Believe it or not, chips, bread, pasta, and crackers can be just as harmful to your teeth as candy! White flour starches are “simple carbs.” Simple carbs stay in your mouth and break down into simple sugars. Once dental bacteria mixes with these sugars it will turn into harmful acid. Not to mention, carbs should be eaten in moderation to maintain a healthy lifestyle or eat complex carbs.
Improving Your Diet is Just One Step in the Right Direction
Although you may have improved your diet to improve your oral health, it’s still important to professionally remove leftover food and debris from your smile. Brushing and flossing are great, but you need to visit Dr. Lisk before a dental problem occurs from decay. If you currently have a cavity, don’t search “dentist near me” to find a quick solution. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lisk to have your teeth professionally cleaned, mouth examined, and a custom dental plan created to restore your oral health.