Regular visits to the dentist are essential for healthy teeth and gums, and so are daily brushing and flossing regimens. As you age, you should also add in visits to a periodontist. Have you ever stopped to consider making dietary changes that also help with oral health? Some foods that doctors consider healthy are not so great for your teeth.
Raisins, prunes, and other dried fruits stick to the surfaces of your teeth. While it’s handy to toss these items into a bagged lunch, you need to consider the damage the natural sugar can do.
If you really can’t go without, brush your teeth, if possible, after you eat them. Drinking water can also help loosen any stuck-on deposits. Sugar-free gum, especially gum containing xylitol as a sweetener, can help remove the stuck on fruit from your teeth. You can also pair them with foods that scrub the teeth, such as celery sticks, hard fruits (apples), or nuts, to help scrape the dried fruit from the teeth.
Fruit juice not only has natural sugars, but many fruit juices are acidic. Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons are especially acidic. The acid weakens the enamel protecting your teeth. Limit fruit juice to times of the day when you can brush your teeth right after you eat. If you really want to put juice in a bagged lunch, add cheese sticks or yogurt to help cut the acidity.
Soda and Sports Drinks
Even the diet versions of these drinks can have acid that hurt your teeth. The sugary sodas are definitely out due to the excessive sugar or corn syrup content. It’s best to avoid soda completely. Cola drinks have even been linked to decreases in bone density. While you may not worry about bone density in your jaw, if you need dental implants, jaw bone density is something that the periodontist has to consider.
If you really like fizzy drinks and can’t go without, seltzer is a good alternative. While there are myths out there that carbonation in water damages your bone density, Scientific American reports that researchers have tested this theory and found absolutely no difference in bone density between women who only drank water and women who only drank seltzer. Just try to stick to plain seltzer and avoid adding a lemon or lime slice if you will not be soon be cleaning your teeth.
Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, and rice are stickier and cling to the teeth. Add sugar to products containing these items, and it’s even worse. Try to limit your consumption of these items, and when you do eat them, drink plenty of water to help flush the starches from your teeth as you eat.
Approximately 9 out of 10 adults have some form of gum disease. While dietary changes are definitely helpful in improving oral health, you still need to schedule routine check-ups with your dentist and periodontist. Read more about gum disease statistics and learn about Gallardo & Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.
The periodontists offer oral exams, dental implants, and gum surgeries, including less invasive LANAP® laser procedure. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gallardo, a Miami periodontist, call (305) 447-1447.