You have heard the saying, “you are what you eat,” but did you know that this does not just apply to your overall health? The foods you consume also influence your teeth and gums. In some cases, you may believe that certain foods are healthy, like spinach or cranberries; however, they can actually be damaging to your smile because they are acidic. That does not mean that you must give up eating healthy. Instead, it is best to consider how the foods you eat will influence the health of your teeth when preparing your meals.
Acidic Foods and Your Teeth
Many fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals to promote your overall health. However, many also come with a hidden danger for your teeth. Take spinach as an example. It is a great source of calcium and several other nutrients. However, have you noticed that it tends to leave a chalky feeling in your mouth? This is due to the fact that it contains large amounts of oxalic acid, which is often known as an antinutrient. It bonds with the minerals and then blocks the body’s ability to absorb them. Not to mention, when the calcium in your saliva combines with the oxalic acid, it forms calcium oxalate crystals, which then stick to your teeth, eating away at your enamel.
Spinach is not the only healthy food that can potentially damage your teeth. Citrus fruits, pickles, tomatoes products, and cranberries are all acidic. While they contain plenty of vital nutrients for a healthy body, they can also wear away at your enamel. As the demineralization starts to occur, they may become sensitive, discolored, and more prone to tooth decay as your enamel softens.
Protect Your Teeth
Although these foods can be damaging for your smile, you can still eat healthy and protect your teeth. If you plan to eat those that are high in acid, try to combine them with those that have a lower pH level, like cheese, whole grains, or bananas. They help to neutralize the acids while providing phosphorus and calcium to replenish lost minerals in the teeth. If you cannot avoid eating acidic foods, rinse your mouth with water to help cleanse it in between brushing.
It is best to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove harmful acids. Next to your home oral hygiene habits and diet, you will need to see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup to promote a healthy smile.
About Highland Village Family Dentistry
Highland Village Family Dentistry strives to combine the art and science of dentistry to deliver world-class care. Our highly experienced team embraces the latest dental technologies to promote optimal oral health while providing family-friendly services. With your overall wellbeing the core of our focus, we can help you eat healthy and still take care of your teeth. If you have any questions about the foods you eat and your smile, consult with your Highland Village dentist today.