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Franklyn Alexander, DDS
General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Patients Choice Winner 2016

Keep Your Teeth In Tip-Top Condition

The “apple a day” adage isn’t enough to protect your teeth from all that your diet can throw at them. There’s also more to oral care than avoiding sugar and candy. Keeping your teeth healthy comes from an entire diet that focuses on not only avoiding harmful foods, but also eating enough of the right ones.

To Avoid: Sugars and Starches

Some foods to avoid are a little more obvious than others. Sticky and chewy candies, for example, can get wedged in the crevices of teeth, meaning they hang around longer and cause more damage. But what about foods like pasta or bread? When starches like these are broken down by acids in the mouth, they are reduced to sugar.

“But I don’t want to give up all of my snacks!” you say. That’s understandable. If you’re going to indulge, try to do it with a meal. Snacking between meals allows the sugars to remain on your teeth. Having a snack with a meal allows the extra saliva and the other food to rinse away the sugars better. Drink a glass of water with your meal as well, opting to skip the sugary drinks that only make the erosive environment in the mouth worse.

To Eat: Fruit, Vegetables, Dairy

The vitamins and minerals in fruits and veggies aren’t just beneficial for your body. They are also necessary for strong teeth and gums. Choices that are crunchy or have a high water content are helpful because they rinse and scrub away plaque and sugars. Stock your fridge with watermelon, fresh green beans, apples, carrots, and celery to naturally clean your mouth.

Minerals can either leave your teeth, or enter them through the process of remineralization. In order to remineralize your teeth, you need to provide your body with the necessary minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous. Dairy products are rich in both, making yogurt, milk, cheese, and cottage cheese excellent choices for oral health. Cheese has the added bonus of stimulating saliva production to wash away sugars and acids.