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10 Jun 2019

Diet & Your Dental Health

No one likes to be unhealthy. Most of us try to keep our bodies in optimal health and good shape. We often follow diet tips for a healthy body and a variety of diet plans and food charts online which can help you drop those extra pounds. Likewise, our oral health, (the health of your teeth, gums and jaw bones) are also an important part of our overall health. If only there was a diet plan for preserving your teeth and oral health!

Can your diet affect your oral health?

Yes — our food intake affects our oral health. Obviously, the foods that we eat are chewed and are in close proximity to our teeth. The bacteria present in our mouth degrade food particles and create acid. This acid causes the tooth substance to lose its minerals and the chance of cavity formation is greatly increased. However, the bacteria in the mouth produce more acid with certain foods than others. Therefore it is useful to know the foods that are most harmful to our teeth and to keep them to a bare minimum.

Here is a list of diet tips to keep your teeth healthy.

           Sugary foods

Sugary candies and sweets tend to stay in your mouth. If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. Sticky candies like lollipops, caramels, jelly beans, and hard candies make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away. Snacks like cookies, cakes or other desserts contain a high amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay. If you eat these foods,  try to eat them all at once and brush your teeth afterwards, instead of snacking on them throughout the day.

           Starchy, refined carbs

Foods such as chips, bread, pasta or crackers can be as harmful to the teeth as candy. Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay. Avoid eating them throughout the day and brush afterward.

          Beverages with added sugar

Be aware of the amount of sugar in your drinks by checking the nutrition label. Consider alternatives such as water, tea, coffee, and coconut water.

           Fruits & Juice

Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. Whole fruits have fiber and are a less concentrated source of sugar (and sometimes acids) than juice. When you drink fruit juice, use a straw to keep it from having too much contact with your teeth or rinse with water afterward.

          Lemons, citrus fruits and other acidic foods

Citrus foods are acidic, so avoid keeping citrus foods in your mouth for long periods of time.

Healthy foods for your teeth:

           Green tea

Polyphenols have been known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, the most well-known tooth strengthener. Thus green tea may help prevent tooth decay.

           Chew xylitol gum after meals

           Xylitol increases saliva production and prevents the bacteria in your mouth from producing the acids that cause cavities. However, be aware that overuse of gums should be avoided as it can cause gastric problems.


Probiotics may help to decrease gum infections and plaque (deposits on teeth); bacteria in fermented foods may also suppress the growth of pathogens in the oral cavity. One study showed that consuming fermented dairy was associated with reduced gum diseases. In turn, this makes your teeth and gums stronger.

           Fibrous (Fiber-rich) foods

Foods rich in fiber like carrots, cucumbers, celery or multigrain breads are a better choice than starchy foods. High fiber foods have a better rate of clearance from the tooth surface. As the food particles are in contact with the tooth surface for lesser time, tooth decay is reduced.


Cranberries and other plant foods like blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant peel, black rice, and raspberries are rich in anthocyanins and may prevent the attachment and colonization of pathogens on host tissues (including teeth). Numerous studies have even shown that cranberry extract-infused mouthwash improves dental health!

           Increase the amount of arginine in your diet

Eat more spinach, lentils, nuts, eggs, whole grains, meat, seafood, and soy!

Beverage choices:

The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks as they expose your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids.


At Tacoma Dental Group we treat a person using a holistic approach. Patients come with different concerns and requirements, so we treat each patient as an individual. We provide preventive, as well as therapeutic treatment options.

If you are concerned about cavities or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up, or cosmetic dentistry, contact Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience and treatment plan, specific to your dental needs.

Preserve or recover your natural smile and optimum oral health by availing the best dental solutions.

For more information consult Dr. Ron Lo at (253)-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com

Or you can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/