Enamel-Friendly Foods for Your Teeth
When it comes to protecting your teeth, your first line of defense against tooth decay and cavities is tooth enamel, as it is the outermost covering that protects the more vulnerable dentin and tooth pulp below. Your enamel comes equipped for the job as the hardest substance in your body. However, because it doesn’t have living cells, it can’t grow back once it is lost.
The number one enemy of tooth enamel is acid. It eats away at the enamel leaving it vulnerable to decay as it weakens. Because tooth enamel protects the lower layers from acids and plaque, protecting it is vital to your oral health. Be sure to limit these harmful items as much as possible and be sure to clean your teeth at least twice a day. Here are some items to avoid:
- Citrus Fruit
- Flavored Water (Has Citric Acid and Other Additives)
- Fruit Juice
- Starchy Snacks Like Chips, Crackers, Pretzels, and Bread
- Sugary Snacks Like Cakes, Cookies, and Candies Of course, it’s not just about what you leave out of your diet that protects tooth enamel. There are foods that can help strengthen tooth enamel, so let’s take a look at them.
- Probably the number one food choice for healthy teeth is rich in calcium. These food items help form strong teeth and bones. Cheese, which is high in calcium, also helps balance your oral pH which lowers the acids that attack the enamel. Besides cheese and other low-fat dairy items like yogurt, you can find calcium in fortified rice and soy milk, sardines and salmon in the can, almonds, and dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach.
- Foods rich in vitamin D help your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is abundant in milk, salmon, margarine, as well as soy and rice beverages which are fortified.
- Your teeth also need phosphorus which you can find in eggs, meat, and fish.
- Vitamin A, found in sweet potatoes, red peppers, mangoes and kale
- Beta-carotene in fruits and vegetables which are orange
- Magnesium-rich foods like bananas, whole grains, and spinach