Perfect food/perfect teeth: The Dental Diet
Here are the top 5 foods to avoid for better teeth:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Foods with dark colours and white wine
- Hard foods (hard candy, crusty bread, etc.)
- Sticky foods, hard candy and soda
1- Consuming high amounts of acidic foods and beverages wears away the enamel, which is called “erosion.” Other than citrus fruits and juices, salad dressings and even some types of flavoured water with low pH levels can also be culprits. Erosion causes the tooth surface to be rough and also generates extreme tooth sensitivity.
The best solution is to avoid eating/drinking acidic foods, drinking water regularly throughout the day, rinsing with water after eating acidic foods, and using toothpaste that strengthen the enamel. Did you know that eating bread reduces acidity in the mouth?
What are the solutions for this problem?
If the damage is already done and the enamel surface is eroded, the solution to consider is dental veneers.
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover the front surface of the teeth. They are permanently cemented on the teeth; therefore, they strengthen and protect the teeth as well as give them a natural, beautiful look.
2- Most people know that foods with darker colours, such as blueberries, blackberries, curry, tea, red wine, can stain the teeth. And as mentioned before, foods that are highly acidic, like white wine and soda, can stain the teeth as well? They erode the teeth, which facilitates the attachment of pigmented molecules to proteins on the teeth’s surface. This is how stains occur.
What are the solutions?
Dental bleaching. Be it at the office or with custom-made trays for at-home bleaching, this is the fastest and least expensive way to fix teeth stains. Do not forget that with bleaching products, you can only remove yellow stains from your teeth. More complex cases (for example gray shades) will require more extensive treatments or, in some cases, dental veneers.
3- Everyone loves the dose of nutrients that comes with a handful of almonds, even with the risk of breaking or fracturing a tooth due to biting too hard. Previously repaired teeth and weak teeth (teeth with cavities, extensive fillings or fractures) are at a high risk for breaking when excessive force is exerted on them.
What are the solutions?
Prevention is the solution! Do not try to crack open pistachios with your teeth or bite down hard on the crusty piece of a baguette. If it is too late and you have a broken tooth, a crown might be the solution. It is a full porcelain shell covering the whole tooth to restore the broken tooth to its original shape. These crowns come in different materials—most commonly porcelain, gold or metal.
4- Soda, hard candy and sticky foods have a lot in common: high sugar content and a long-lasting acidic effect on the teeth. They are very damaging to the tooth surface. The acid dissolves the enamel; the teeth become more prone to cavities. In some cases, this causes tooth sensitivity around the gum line and may cause you to avoid brushing carefully around that area. If the gum is irritated due to lack of proper hygiene, then bleeding and inflammation cannot be prevented.
In addition to eliminating these foods from your diet, regular visits to the dentists with periodical cleanings are the solution. If you are at a higher risk of developing cavities, your dentist might recommend a fluoride mouth rinse that will help strengthen your enamel.
5- Despite its lightness, great flavour and total harmless look, popcorn poses as a threat for your dental health. The kernel can be considered as a “hard food” that can potentially break a tooth. However, it is the shell that is a far more serious concern. It can be lodged between the gum and the tooth without you even noticing. If it stays in place for a long duration possible consequences include: tooth decay, bone loss or even tooth loss.
Nothing is better that the fresh feeling after a dental cleaning. Your dental hygienist will make sure no kernel shell is left behind! Daily flossing is also the key to keeping all food from getting stuck between the teeth and possibly causing damage.
Approved by Dr Lechner
Dr. François Lechner founded the Prisma Dentistes in TMR more than 30 years ago. Over the course of his practice, he has developed his skills in general and family dentistry and is proud to offer a complete service to his patients. He is also interested in neuromuscular dentistry and the management of sleep disorders.