We all know that our smile is the first impression people get of us. When people look at you, they look first at your smile. With that in mind, it’s important to have strong, white teeth. But that can only be done if you take care of your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is the most important part of our oral hygiene. But don’t ever underestimate your diet. There are foods that help your teeth, and there are foods that can be bad for your teeth.
We’ll look at foods that give extra protection to your teeth, but also explain what enamel is and what enamel erosion is. Let’s start with the 8 superfoods first.
Ever since we were little kids, our parents constantly said “don’t eat chocolate, it’s bad for your teeth.” And that’s partially true. Regular milk chocolate should be avoided. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, provides great protection for your teeth. Dark chocolate has a high amount cocoa, and cocoa has tannin, a compound that protects teeth from erosion.
This compound also reduces the gum inflammation. And the underrated part is that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that will protect you from harmful bacteria—in other words, good breath! To summarize, dark chocolate protects your teeth and helps you have refreshing breath. But as with anything else, don’t overeat chocolate, even if it’s dark.
Milk contains two important compounds that protect our teeth. The first one is calcium, and the other is vitamin D. Both are crucial for stronger bones and teeth. Drinking milk on a regular basis will help you repair tooth enamel. If you are lactose intolerant, opt for soy milk. But just make sure to get your dose of milk on a regular basis.
Crisp veggies and fruits are good for the teeth. Celery is not just a refreshing snack—this crispy veggie will protect your teeth thanks to its high amount of fiber. If you didn’t know, fiber cleans the teeth. And because celery is crunchy and crispy, the longer chewing time will promote healthy pH levels in your mouth. As a result of chewing celery, you protect yourself from plaque build-up.
Here is another crispy fruit that serves almost the same purpose as celery. But most importantly, apples will clean your teeth of all other food residue. You can actually chew an apple instead of brushing your teeth. In addition to cleaning your teeth, apples are a great source of vitamins that strengthen the teeth. One apple after a meal will reduce the build-up of food. The texture of the apple helps scrub the teeth.
No, parsley is not a crispy veggie that you will chew for a few minutes. But parsley contains compounds that will freshen your breath and prevent bacteria from accumulating in your mouth. Parsley protects your tooth enamel. Many dentists suggest chewing parsley instead of chewing gum.
One of the most important vitamins for tooth protection is vitamin C. And oranges have vitamin C in abundance. But they also contain acid and other vitamins that act as a cleansing and flossing solution for your teeth. Just make sure you don’t let orange juice and its acid stay in your mouth for an extended period.
While oranges contain acids that help with tooth health, cheese works in the opposite way. Cheese neutralizes acids in your mouth. This protects the enamel from overexposure to acids. A small piece of cheese after dinner is recommended for protecting your teeth and avoiding tooth decay.
We mentioned previously that vitamin D is crucial for teeth health. Well, mushrooms are loaded with it. Vitamin D is key to the absorption of calcium, and mushrooms will give you just enough of it.
What is tooth enamel?
With all this talk about protecting your teeth, let’s explain what tooth enamel is. Enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth, and it’s the hardest tissue in the human body. The layer covers the crown and protects your teeth from daily use like chewing, crunching, grinding, and biting. Sometimes, products like fruit juices, cigarettes, tea, cola, and red wine can stain the enamel of your teeth. Routine cleaning and polishing will remove most surface stains.
An important note: unlike a broken bone than can be repaired, enamel has no living cells. That means that there is no way for your body to repair cracked or chipped enamel. That makes protection of your tooth enamel that much more important.
Tooth erosion, or enamel erosion, can be caused by fruit drinks, dry mouth, a diet high in sugar and starches, excessive soft drink consumption, a diet high in phosphoric and citric acids, environmental factors like stress and corrosion, medications like aspirin and antihistamines, gastrointestinal problems, and acid reflux disease.