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Diet and Dental Health: What Foods to Avoid and Enjoy

What’s for dinner tonight? What if you could create a menu that not only energized your tastebuds but gave your health a boost, too? Maintaining a healthy diet is not only important for your overall health but your dental health as well. Our team at Wynning Smiles has put together a quick guide to some of the foods to avoid along with a few to keep on your shopping list in order to maintain a healthy smile: 

Foods to Avoid

  • Candy and Soft Drinks: We all know that foods high in sugar aren’t usually good for your overall health so it’s no surprise that our favorite sweet treats can harm your smile as well. Sugary foods can lead to a buildup of bacteria on your teeth and gums. Soft drinks and sports drinks can also coat your teeth in sugar and erode your tooth enamel leading to cavities. 


  • Bread: Starchy foods like bread and potato chips break down into sugar and get stuck between your teeth. If left there, it can feed bacteria in plaque and lead to decay. Flossing after eating your crunchy snack can help but healthier alternatives are advised.


  • Dried Fruits and Sticky Foods: What about feeding your sweet tooth with dried fruits? Although many are rich in nutrients, dried fruits can stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. The same goes for caramels and those gummy bears you’ve been craving.  


  • Citrus Fruits: Fresh fruit is better but be careful with citrus fruits and juices. These can wear down the enamel on your teeth and leave them susceptible to cavities. We recommend using a straw to protect your teeth and avoiding brushing for at least half an hour after consuming anything acidic.


  • Ice and Hard Candies: Chewing on hard foods can damage your enamel or lead to chipped teeth. Protect your smile by hydrating with water and skipping the after-dinner mint.


We know it’s hard to pass on dessert every night so we encourage enjoying these foods in moderation and brushing your teeth after indulging. 

Foods to Enjoy

  • Milk, Cheese and Yogurt: Foods high in calcium help strengthen your bone density. Cheese is also high in phosphate content which helps balance your pH levels and protect your tooth enamel.


  • Leafy Green Vegetables: They are also high in vitamins and minerals that fortify your enamel and boost your gum health. Plus, adding a little crunch to your sandwich can help clean your teeth.


  • Apples and Carrots: Fruits and vegetables high in fiber stimulate saliva production and can also help clean your teeth. The next time you get celery stuck in your teeth remember it’s acting like nature’s floss! Of course, nutrient-rich vegetables like carrots are great at promoting dental health inside and outside the tooth.


  • Fatty Fish: Some fish like salmon are filled with phosphorus. As we said earlier, this mineral can protect your tooth enamel. If you don’t like fish, tofu can offer the same enamel-preserving benefits.

Water: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help flush out harmful bacteria and neutralize the acid in your mouth. What’s more, staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients from all the healthy food you’ve eaten.

Your Recipe for Dental Health

We’ve realized that what you choose on the menu tonight is just as important as whether or not you brush your teeth afterward. The link between diet and dental health is clear. After you’ve managed your grocery list, come visit our dentists in Huntington Beach, CA for a complete guide to maintaining your dental health with comprehensive preventative dentistry. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy smile. Until then — bon appétit!

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