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5 Foods to Avoid & 5 to Eat for Best Dental Health

As your Cincinnati family dentist, we probably don’t need to tell you that you should limit your intake of candy and soda. You know these foods are high in sugar and can lead to plaque and cavities.

But there are many other foods you probably don’t think about that can actually be very bad for your teeth — like bread, fruit juice and apples. Here are 5 foods you should limit and 5 foods you should eat instead so your family has great dental health.

5 Foods You Should Avoid:

  • Bread: Surprisingly high in processed sugar, bread can breed mouth bacteria, especially white breads. Avoid bread that has added sweeteners. This can be hard on teeth.
  • Jelly or Jam: It tastes so sweet because jelly or jam tends to be loaded with sugar and other sweeteners. Even all fruit brands contain natural sugars. Limit your intake.
  • Popcorn: By its very nature, popcorn gets stuck in between our teeth. Loaded with butter and other sweeteners, it tends to be really hard on teeth. Considering rinsing and flossing after you’ve eaten a bag.
  • Diet Soda: You probably know that regular soda is high in sugar and horrible for your teeth, but diet soda doesn’t get you off the hook. It’s still high in acidity, which is terrible for your oral health.
  • Salad Dressing: Salad is good for you — but salad dressing? Not so much. Most are high in sugar for added flavor. Be mindful of how sweet of a dressing you use. We’re not saying eat a dry salad, but limit how much you use and stick to brands that don’t use added sweeteners.

5 Foods You Should Eat Instead

  • Black & Green Teas: Loaded with compounds called polyphenols, black and green teas slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. Drinking these teas can lessen the buildup of plaque.
  • Raisins: Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose or table sugar that causes cavities. Raisins are also a great source of phytochemicals, which may kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Other compounds in raisins can help fight gum disease.
  • Sugarless Gum: Sugarless is key here because regular gum will have the opposite effect. But chewing sugarless gum increases the body’s production of saliva, which naturally rinses the teeth and gums to wash away the bacteria that cause plaque and cavities.
  • Milk: It’s a good idea to wash that dish of chocolate cake or pie with a nice cold glass of milk! Because it contains acid-neutralizing enzymes, drinking milk can reduce your risk of plaque and cavities. But adding milk to sugary cereals doesn’t have the same benefit. It absorbs the sugars and becomes sticky and sweet, which has the opposite effect.
  • Cheese, Almonds, Salads: Foods that are high in calcium are great for teeth. The calcium will help keep your teeth enamel strong and healthy. These foods can actually redeposit calcium back into cracks and tiny openings in your teeth caused by acidic and sugary foods.

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