We all know the basics: brush two to three times a day, floss at least once a day and visit the dentist for an examination every six months. While maintaining your oral hygiene is a reasonably simple task, some of the numbers are alarming. One in four adults do not brush their teeth twice a day, one in three never flossed in their life and half of adults do not visit their dentists regularly.

Although your oral hygiene is essential, the real problem may be your diet.  The old saying goes “you are what you eat”, well that is remarkably true for your teeth. What and when you eat is especially important, the more frequently you eat, the more often you expose your teeth to progression of decay. Fortunately, there are certain groceries that can prevent cavities, tooth decay and even freshen up your breath. Here are some of the foods that you should stay away from and some that you should seek out.

Oral Health 101: Consider The FoodThe Good

  • Cheese

Surprisingly, cheese does not just enhance the flavor of your lunch it also helps you with teeth strengthening. A study from the Academy of General Dentistry that cheese protects you from acid erosion – the cessation of enamel on your teeth caused by coffee, wine, soda, etc. It helps you with production of alkaline saliva and chewing it creates a protective layer that keeps the remaining acid at bay.

  • Strawberries

Strawberries can make your teeth whiter because of their acid content – they contain malic acid a natural coating whitener. Intermixed with baking soda, strawberries can be used as natural tooth-cleanser – polishing away the stains from wine and coffee. Nonetheless, you should be careful not to use this method too often, as the acid could damage your teeth.

  • Nuts

Various nuts provide minerals and vitamins for your teeth. For example, peanuts are rich with calcium and vitamin D; almonds also have high levels of calcium, so besides your teeth, they help you with gums; cashews stimulate your saliva and help with cleansing. Walnuts may be the best for you; they are full of fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamins E and B6, potassium and zinc.

Oral Health 101: Consider The FoodThe Bad

  • Hard candies

Unlike the chewy candies, hard candies do not adhere to your teeth, but they have a disadvantage of their own. Unlike, let us say chocolate, which is usually chewed quickly and is washed off easily, more or less, hard candy dissolves very slowly, giving the bacteria more time to generate damaging acid. To make matters worse, many companies flavor their hard candy with critic acid. Another problem that hard candy represents for your teeth is the hard part – you can chip your tooth on them, and that is something that no amount of brushing can fix.

  • Dried fruits

While dried fruits are a step up from your average sweet snacks, they are still high in sugar and can be devastating for your teeth when consumed in larger portions. They do not stick to your teeth and gums easily, but also they feed the bacteria in your mouth. The difference between fresh and dried fruit is that even though fresh fruit has sugar, it has some substance to it that stimulates saliva making it not stick. It still doesn’t mean that you are not harming your teeth while chewing on all of that sugar. So just because you are not munching on chocolate, but on more or less “organic” food, that doesn’t mean that you won’t spot a dark stain on your pearly whites any time soon. Then it is time for the orthodontist to step in. You should nevertheless insist on having a regular checkup, so here is a great orthodontist Sydney based for those who are in the neighborhood.

  • Sugary sodas

It is generally understood that sweetened drinks are bad for your teeth, but most of the people do not exactly know why. There are three big reasons why sodas are bad: high sugar content, extremely acidic pH and critic acid. Despite the fact that diet sodas are not great for you, regular sodas are jam packed with sugars and can be deadly for your smile. Oral Health 101: Consider The FoodAcid producing bacteria eat the sugars to survive and make acids; the more you feed them, the more cavities you will have. Sodas are very low in pH values, regular exposures to acidic pH increases the growth of acid producing microorganisms. Finally, many sodas have critic acid added to them for flavor and preservation, and it can cause particularly erosive effects on your teeth.

Consider the above mentioned facts when planning your next meal. Especially if your genetic predisposition is suggesting that you might have a problem with your teeth at one point. Remember that it is a constant obligation to yourself.