Nutrition Community

Nutrition and Your Teeth

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
08/06/13  3:00 PM PST
Nutrition and Your Teeth

The health of your teeth and gums is linked to chronic systemic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In addition, poor nutrition affects your entire immune system, increasing your susceptibility to many autoimmune disorders. Take care of your choppers – and the rest of your body – by being careful of what foods and beverages come into contact with your teeth. Read on to read about the link between nutrition and your teeth.

Foods That Can Harm Your Teeth

  • Hard candies bathe your teeth in a steady stream of cavity-causing sugar.  Choose sugar-free candy or gum instead.
  • Chewing on ice can damage tooth enamel, making it easier for decay to set in.
  • Sipping on sugar-sweetened beverages regularly gives plaque bacteria an opportunity to take over and cause cavities.
  • Carbonated beverages and those with citric acid are acidic and can and can erode enamel over time.  Drink plain water more often than other beverages.
  • Coffee and tea can dry out your mouth, increasing the odds that bacteria will cause dental caries.  Drink plenty of water after consuming caffeine-containing beverages.
  • Sticky foods are just that:  sticky!  They stay on your teeth longer than other foods.  Substitute dried fruits with fresh fruit.  Floss and brush your teeth afterward if you do consume sticky foods.

More Tooth-friendly Tips

  • Space frequency of food and beverage intake at least two hours apart.
  • Choose fresh, whole, unprocessed foods to stimulate saliva production.
  • Eat high-quality protein foods, such as meat, eggs, fish, beans and legumes.
  • Select whole grain, low sugar breads and cereals.
  • Chew sugarless gum immediately after a meal or snack.

Information for this article was provided by Shield HealthCare’s Corporate Registered Dietitian, the American Dental Association and the Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Oral Health and Nutrition.