Eating for your dental health can involve more than just avoiding sugary foods and drinks. Many other foods and drinks can positively impact your teeth, from birth on through adulthood.
Eat to develop jaw muscles
Many children are not consuming enough hard fruits and vegetables and course grains, which can lead to slower jaw and muscle development. It is important for children to receive a diet of fruits and vegetables in their natural form, instead of too many soft foods, as soon as choking risks are lower and they have learned to chew their foods.
Eat to prevent cavities
Cavities form when sugar and plaque combine. Plaque forms from the time you brush until the time you brush again. It cannot form a cavity on its own, but combined with sugar, can create cavities. In the same way, sugar cannot form a cavity without plaque. Snacking on sugary foods in between meals puts your teeth at the most risk for cavities, because your saliva doesn’t have a chance to neutralize the acids in your mouth before your next meal.
Give your teeth a break
In between meals, many people will sip on juice, soda, or a sugary coffee drink as they work or go about their day. Others may suck on hard candies to ward off snacking. The problem with this habit is that your teeth are under constant attack from the acid created from the plaque and sugar. It takes about 20 minutes for your saliva to get the acid in your mouth back in check, so it is important to give your teeth at least that amount of time without sugar. Try carrying around a water bottle to sip throughout the day, and finish your soda or coffee drinks quickly rather than sipping them for hours.