Science & Articles >> CAVITIES, GINGIVITIS

Foods That Are Good & Bad For Your Teeth

Foods that are good for teeth are generally high in minerals such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride. These minerals are redeposited into the tooth enamel thus repairing the parts of enamel that has eroded over time. Enamel loss initially occurs because of the way saliva breaks down sugary and acidic foods beginning the moment they enter your mouth. These “good” foods include cheeses, meats, nuts, milk and fluoride added water. Other foods containing a high percentage of water like apples and pears stimulate the flow of saliva which is good for the enamel and dilutes the acids.

Tooth decay and discolor mostly happen because of erosion of tooth enamel, cavities and food stains. The most prominent tooth staining foods are coffee, black tea, red wine, gums and candy that are artificially colored, deep colored berries, acidic and artificially colored fruit drinks, colored soda, soya sauce and curry and turmeric. Most of the foods mentioned above are high in acids, sugars and intensely pigmented molecules, which are primarily the three main causes of teeth staining and decay.

The acids present in food erode the tooth enamel making teeth more vulnerable to stains and cavities, the sugars stick to the teeth becoming of a source of food for bacteria to feed on, converting into acids in the process and intensely pigmented molecules have a dyeing affect that is more penetrating and permanent on eroded teeth.
In conclusion foods which are low in acids and sugars are considered good for your teeth and those foods high in acids are considered harmful because they stain teeth, damage the enamel, and/or cause cavities. When consuming these “bad” foods, be sure to do so with water and larger meals to neutralize their acidic effect.

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Erin Stelbrink

Erin Stelbrink is a Registered Dental Hygienist with 5+ years of experience as a licensed hygienist and oral health care professional. She holds a passion for researching and acquiring awareness of the latest technologies and methods for providing valuable health care service and clinical treatment. Have more questions? Email Erin at