Which Foods are Tooth-Friendly Snacks?

Cosmetic dentistry procedures typically have well-defined preparation and recovery periods, which are overseen closely by your dentist and his or her team. However, your daily behavior has a tremendous impact on whether a procedure is successful. The choices you make every day as you care for your mouth determine to a large degree how healthy your teeth and gums remain.

One of the most significant, and trickiest, questions related to dental health is what to eat and drink.

Cosmetic_DentistryHere are five interesting facts about tooth-friendly foods. The answers to the questions posed here are not always what you might think, so read carefully!

Identifying teeth-friendly foods: A true/false quiz

  1. Crackers are OK to eat because some types are crunchy and help “brush” your teeth.

Answer: FALSE. Crackers are starchy foods, which contribute to dental plaque, and often get stuck in or between teeth.

  1. Drinking tea is bad for your teeth.

Answer: FALSE. Although from one aspect of cosmetic dentistry – that of causing teeth stains – tea can pose challenges, black and green tea also contain polyphenols, compounds that slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease.

  1. Raw fruits and vegetables are your teeth’s best friends.

Answer: TRUE. Fruits and veggies increase saliva flow, which is crucial to keeping plaque from adhering to your tooth enamel. Also, the fiber in these foods has a detergent effect on your mouth, keeping it clean.

  1. Gum can be part of a positive oral health regimen.

Answer: TRUE. Gum sweetened with xylitol has been shown to reduce plaque without promoting tooth decay. Chewing gum is another activity that increases the flow of saliva.

  1. Cheese may very well be a dental wonder food.

Answer: TRUE. In addition to encouraging saliva flow, cheese and other unsweetened dairy products also provide calcium for bone strength and phosphates, which can re-mineralize teeth that have been stripped of minerals by other foods in the diet.

Dr. Carol Ford, who operates a cosmetic dentistry practice in Phoenix, says she’s always happy to discuss dietary choices with patients. “The list of foods that provide dental benefits is not always a matter of common sense,” she says. “Research is helping dentists pinpoint which foods are the most helpful, and it is helping us understand why.”

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