Does Your Diet Affect Your Teeth?


You Are What You Eat:  Does Your Diet Affect Your Teeth?

Since we were children, we’ve all been told to avoid sweets if we don’t want cavities. But, is that really true? Does your diet affect your teeth?

According to the American Dental Association’s website, the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay feed off of sugary foods as well as starchy foods. Beverages that contain sugar, such as soda, lemonade, sweetened coffee and tea, juice, and sports drinks, are especially harmful for your teeth because they soak your teeth in an extended “sugar bath” and are acidic. Even diet soda dissolves your tooth enamel due to their low pH, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. Also, beware of dried fruits, like raisins, that are sticky and sweet and are considered bad snack options when it comes to preventing tooth decay.

So, which foods are good options for tooth health? It’s actually quite simple: foods that don’t contain starch or sugar and are low in acid. If you want something sweet, choose fresh fruit. And the best beverage option for your teeth is water. But, if you do choose to indulge in a sweet treat, potato chips, or crackers, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards and brush your teeth as soon as possible to decrease the amount of time that the sugar or starch has contact with your teeth. This will reduce your likelihood of developing cavities since you will be depriving the bacteria of their food source.

Tooth-building vitamins and minerals can be found in foods such as almonds, leafy greens, cheese, plain yogurt, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. By choosing healthier food and beverage options, you will have healthier teeth and a healthier you!

Feel free to post any comments or questions on our Mission Dental Implant Center Facebook page at
Dr. Al Manesh, Periodontist & Implant Specialist
Mission Dental Implant Center

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