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Food friends and enemies of their teeth

If it is true that we are what we eat, then it is especially true for our teeth and gums. When you drink beverages with sugar and eat starchy foods, not only do you feed: you also feed the plaque that can cause problems in your mouth.

And while some foods can cause tooth decay, others can help fight plaque buildup and have healthy teeth and gums.

The “friends” who fight cavities

Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber: foods that contain fiber stimulate the flow of saliva, which is a natural defense against cavities. Saliva not only removes food particles and cleanses your mouth, but also, approximately 20 minutes after eating something, saliva begins to neutralize the acids that attack your teeth. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery.

Cheese, milk, natural yogurt and other dairy products: calcium, phosphates and vitamin D from cheese, milk and other dairy products are important minerals for the health of your teeth. Your teeth are made mostly of calcium, and if your diet does not contain enough calcium, you run the risk of developing cavities and other problems. An additional benefit is that the calcium in these foods mixes with the plaque and sticks to the teeth, so that it protects them from the acids that cause cavities and helps rebuild the enamel of the teeth instantly. Are you worried about not consuming enough calcium because you are allergic to milk or because you do not like the taste? There are many juices, soy milks and other foods fortified with calcium that can provide the same amount of calcium to your diet as milk.

Sugar-free chewing gum: consuming sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help eliminate harmful acids from your teeth to preserve their enamel. But make sure it does not have sugar! Consuming chewing gum with sugar can increase your chances of having cavities. The sugar-free gum containing xylitol, which has been shown to have caries-preventing qualities, may even have an additional benefit. Studies show that xylitol probably inhibits the development of Streptococcus mutants, the oral bacterium that causes tooth decay.

Green tea and black tea: the teas contain compounds that inhibit bacteria, affecting the processes responsible for tooth loss and gum disease. Depending on the type of water you use to make your tea, a cup of tea can also be a source of fluoride. Just remember not to add sugar to your tea.

Water with fluoride: drinking water with fluoride, or any product that you make with fluoride water, helps your teeth. This includes powdered juices and dehydrated soups. If there is no tap water with fluoride where you live, ask your dentist about fluoride supplements.

The “enemies” that cause tooth decay

Sweets and sweets with sugar that remain in your mouth: if you eat sweets, choose the ones that disappear from your mouth quickly. The candy that sticks on the teeth (popsicles, candy, jelly beans and hard candy) make it difficult for saliva to eliminate sugar. Snacks such as cookies, cakes and other desserts contain a large amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay. If you eat foods like these, do it in a limited way and do not eat them as snacks throughout the day.

Starch-refined carbohydrates: foods such as potato chips, bread, pasta and crackers can damage teeth like candy. Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can remain in your mouth and then turn into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on sugar and produce acids that cause tooth decay.

Carbonated soft drinks: not only normal soft drinks contain a high amount of sugar: both normal and diet soft drinks contain phosphorus and carbonation, which waste the enamel of your teeth (so they stain them and give them a brown color). Many energy drinks and frozen teas and bottled lemonades also contain high amounts of sugar and acidity that can wear out tooth enamel. If you consume soft drinks regularly, you should use a straw to avoid having too much contact with your teeth.

Fruit juice: While fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, fruit juice can cause problems for your teeth. Whole fruits have fiber and are a source of sugar (and sometimes acids) less concentrated. In addition, juices sometimes have added sugar, which can be even more harmful to your teeth. If you drink fruit juices regularly, you should use a straw to avoid having too much contact with your teeth.

Lemons, citrus fruits and other acidic foods: avoid having these foods in your mouth for a prolonged period of time.