These foods fight tooth decay:
- High-fibre fruits and vegetables have a cleaning effect on teeth. They stimulate saliva flow, which works against acids and enzymes that attack teeth.
- Cheese, milk, plain yogurt and other dairy products with no added sugar contain calcium and often vitamin D, which are important for healthy bones and teeth. They also increase saliva flow.
- Meats and nuts don’t contain sugar or carbohydrates unless they are added.
- Sugarless chewing gum moves saliva through the mouth and helps wash away food particles trapped in teeth.
These foods invite tooth decay:
- Sugary foods: Each time sugars and starches come in contact with plaque, acids attack teeth for 20 minutes or longer after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down protective tooth enamel. Examples include cookies, cakes, soft drinks and candy.
- Starchy foods can easily get stuck between teeth and in your mouth. They provide a feeding ground for bacteria in plaque. Examples include bread, pasta, potato chips, crackers, french fries, dried fruits and breakfast cereals.
- Most 12-ounce sodas contain about 12 teaspoons of sugar. Soda is the leading source of added sugar for kids and teens. Most people know about the vast amounts of sugar in soda but forget about the phosphoric and citric acids that can erode tooth enamel.
- Sports drinks, coffee, energy drinks, teas and lemonades also may have sugar added. If you sip sweetened beverages during the day, the acid produced can attack teeth all day long.
Never let children fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth. When they stop sucking on the bottle, the sugars can pool around teeth and cause decay. <Read more>