To maintain good dental health, it’s important to schedule regular visits to the dentists for checkups and cleanings. With that being said, you also need to practice good dental hygiene when you’re at home. Sadly, even when they take good care of their teeth, many people still end up with dental problems. Often, this is because they eat foods that promote tooth decay.

soda in a cup filled with sugar cubes

What Foods Fuel Plaque?

Virtually everyone knows that sugary foods promote tooth decay; however, food texture and composition also play a key role. To lower your risk for cavities, learn how certain foods contribute to problems.

  • Long lasting foods – Foods such as lollipops and cough drops expose your teeth to plaque-fueling sugars for long stretches of time.
  • Sticky foods – Since they tend to easily stick to your teeth, chewy candies, gummies and dried fruits give plaque extra time to cause harm.
  • Acidic beverages and foods – Because they wear down enamel, sodas, citric fruits and tomatoes increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Starchy foods – French fries, white bread, pretzels and other starchy foods can easily become lodged between your teeth. Additionally, our saliva is able to quickly break these foods down into plaque-building sugars.
  • Hard foods – Hard candies, nuts and ice can create very small fractures in teeth, which give plaque a great place to collect.

Foods that Help

While certain foods promote cavities; others promote good dental health. Foods such as pears, yogurt and apples actually neutralize acid. Additionally, since they take longer to chew, high-fiber vegetables help generate more saliva which rinses acid and bacteria from our mouths. Ultimately, foods that are good for our overall health tend to promote good dental health as well. By eating healthy diets, we can reduce our risk of cavities. That said, to side-step expensive, unpleasant restorative treatments, it’s important to make regular visits to a qualified family dentist. Don’t wait for unseen problems to erupt into major issues. To keep your teeth healthy and sparkling, contact Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins today.