Your Teeth: the Bad and the Good Guys

When looking after your teeth, not only do you need to make sure you brush regularly, but you need to consider what foods you and do not eat. Below, we take a look at the good guys and the bad guys in further detail so that you know how to protect your teeth and ensure you have a sparkly smile at all times.

Your Teeth: the Bad and the Good Guys


  • Substances that dry out your mouth – You need to try and limit your consumption of liquids that are going to dry out your mouth. Not only does this include alcohol, but also a number of medicines can have a similar effect. If you find that the medicine you are taking is drying out your mouth, the best thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider to see if you could have a fluoride gel or rinse for brushing your teeth. A dental care provider like will be able to provide you with more information on this. In regards to alcohol, your saliva flow can reduce considerably over time if you drink a lot of alcohol. This can then cause oral infections, including gum disease, as well as tooth decay. There is also research that shows that heavy alcohol consumption will increase your risk of mouth cancer.
  • Carbonated soft drinks – Carbonated soft drinks have had a lot of negative press because of the amount of sugar they contain. Not only is this a bad point, but most soft drinks also contain citric acids and phosphoric acids, which will wear away tooth enamel.
  • Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth – Good examples include potato chips and soft breads.
  • Sweets and sticky candy – You should opt for sweets that clear out of your mouth quickly if you are going to eat any at all. This means staying away from those that contain refined sugar such as caramels and lollipops.
  • Too much citrus – While citrus foods are good for you, we have all heard the saying about too much of a good thing, and that certainly applies in this case. This is because too much citrus can make your teeth more susceptible to decay over time, as acidic foods can erode enamel. Whenever you have citrus foods or juices, you should make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards.
  • Sports drinks – Sports drinks appear healthy on the surface, but they are often loaded with sugar. Young athletes often consume sports drinks after they have been engaging in vigorous and prolonged physical activities. If you have ever watched F1, you will note that the race drivers all drink a sports drink afterwards. This is so they can get sugar back into their bodies. Therefore, before you consume any type of sports drink, make sure you read the label first to find out how much sugar is contained.
  • Coffee – You may not be surprised to find coffee on the list. Of course, coffee does have some benefits, as you will find here: However, when it comes to your teeth, the tannic acids that are found inside coffee can wear down the enamel, and they can even stain your teeth brown.


  • Water – The benefits of water are widely promoted. There are many reasons why you should try to get your recommended eight glasses of water a day. One of these reasons is because it can prevent tooth decay. This is only the case, however, if the water is fluoridated, so make sure you check the bottle for fluoride content before you purchase.
  • Foods with fluoride – Water is not the only option for consuming fluoride. Dehydrated soups and powdered juices also contain fluoride. However, it is important to make sure that the juice you choose does not contain a lot of sugar. Other foods that can give fluoride include powdered cereal, seafood, and poultry products.
  • Sugarless chewing gum – This is a great food choice, as it creates saliva, which will remove food particles from your mouth. Nonetheless, do make sure you opt for sugarless chewing gum.
  • Black and green teas – These teas are recommended because they contain polyphenols, which interacts with plaque bacteria. These substances will either hold back bacteria or kill it entirely. This prevents them from producing or growing acid, which would attack your teeth. Plus, depending on the type of water you use to brew your tea, this could also be a good way of getting your dose of fluoride as well.
  • Dairy products – Dairy products such as plain yoghurt, milk, and cheese are good for your teeth. Cheese, similarly to chewing gum, is another saliva producing food, which is why it comes recommended. Plus, the calcium that is found in dairy products, as well as the phosphates that are found in milk and some other dairy foods, helps to put minerals back into your teeth. These are minerals you may have lost due to the consumption of other foods.
  • Vegetables and fruit that are rich in fiber – The American Dental Association (ADA) has advised people to eat foods with fiber because they will have a detergent effect in your mouth, as well as getting saliva flowing. Aside from good home dental care, this is your greatest natural defense against gum disease and cavities.
  • Crunchy vegetables – Crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery are highly recommended because they contain a lot of water, plus they demand a lot of chewing, and this makes them good for oral health. This is because they can actually scrub the surface of your teeth, which will make them a lot brighter while also stimulating the flow of saliva too. It is also worth pointing out that saliva features enzymes that buffer the acids that are inside certain food, as well as helping to clear out the bits of food you have stuck in your teeth.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the foods that do and do not impact your teeth. If you follow the advice mentioned above, you are bound to notice that your smile gets a lot whiter and brighter in no time.

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