General Dentistry |4 min read

What Foods Are Good for My Teeth and Gums?

Female patient eating and drinking foods that are good for teeth and gums.

The best diet for your oral and overall health includes eating:

  • Foods rich in protein
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole fruit

On the other hand, it’s best to avoid foods that are:

  • Sugary
  • Starchy
  • Sticky
  • Acidic

They have a much higher risk of causing cavities.

Regardless of whether it’s organic sugar, brown sugar, refined white sugar, maple syrup, or honey, it’s still sugar.

The quantity of sugar… This text opens a new tab to the National Library of Medicine website… consumed isn’t as important as how often it’s consumed.

What foods should I avoid?

Whenever you consume foods that contain sugar or starch, the oral bacteria work together to break it down, a process that produces acid.

Therefore, if you drink or eat a bit of sugary food every few hours, you retain the sugars in your mouth for longer, allowing the harmful oral bacteria more time to digest the sugar and produce more acid.

In essence, you’re continuously soaking your teeth in acid, which can directly dissolve your tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity.

Sticky foods may also be harmful to teeth as they provide long-lasting sources of sugar.

Examples include:

  • Dried fruit
  • Gummy candies
  • Caramels

Processed, starchy foods… This text opens a new tab to the National Library of Medicine website… can also stick to your teeth for longer and produce cavities. These include:

  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • Flavoured crackers

In addition, acidic foods can all increase your risk of developing cavities and enamel erosion. Examples are:

  • Wine
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pickles
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports and energy drinks

What foods are good for my teeth and gums?

While it may be impossible to cut sugary and acidic foods from your diet completely, there are strategies you can use to reduce the level of harm to your teeth when consuming these types of foods.

Sugary foods should be consumed along with your meals as opposed to during snacks since more saliva is produced during meals, which helps to neutralize acid production.

Accordingly, it’s best to avoid the temptation to snack frequently — the more often you snack in between meals, the higher the risk of developing cavities… This text opens a new tab to the National Library of Medicine website….

If you do snack, be selective with the type of snack.

Smart snacking involves choosing nutritious foods, including:

  • Plain yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

When should I brush my teeth when snacking?

Remember to brush and floss after snacking to avoid developing cavities. If you can’t brush and floss, we recommend rinsing your mouth with water to reduce the amount of residual food debris and plaque.

If you plan on eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages, make sure to brush your teeth beforehand.

It’s best not to brush your teeth right after consuming acidic foods to avoid further eroding your enamel.

So, if you plan on consuming acidic foods, make sure to brush your teeth beforehand. Otherwise, wait at least 2 hours after consuming acids before brushing your teeth.

When drinking acidic beverages, our dentist, Dr. My Le recommends using a straw to reduce the amount of acidic contact with your teeth.

INTERESTING FACT: Drinking coffee, tea, red wine, or pigmented beverages with a straw is shown to reduce the amount of discolouration to your teeth. For more information on teeth whitening, search for a “Calgary Dentist Near Me” and book a teeth whitening consultation.

Ultimately, we recommend consuming nutrient-rich foods that provide vitamins and minerals, neutralize acids, stimulate saliva production and repair tooth enamel.

Including snacks like nuts, cheeses, non-acidic fruits, and vegetables in your diet will promote happier and healthier teeth.

Good nutrition plays a critical role in good oral health.

Who can I talk to more about this?

If you have concerns about how your food choices affect your oral health, talk to our dental team today. To find a Calgary dentist near you that can provide helpful nutritional recommendations, type in a search for “Calgary Dentist Near Me.… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…

Book an appointment with us today.

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Our office is located in Calgary, AB… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…. We happily welcome patients from all over, including Mount Pleasant, Crescent Heights, Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Kensington, West Hillhurst, Capitol Hill, Rosedale, Tuxedo, Briar Hill, Renfrew, Rosemont, and Downtown Calgary.