Having healthy teeth and a bright smile is a significant priority for many people. To keep your teeth at an optimal, healthy pH level, it is essential to know what foods can lead to tooth decay and how to reduce acidity in your mouth to fight off plaque and bacteria that cause cavities. Many contributing factors to tooth decay include diet and lifestyle, which can be easily changed to promote healthier teeth and maintain a brilliant smile. Adopting new eating habits can have a considerable effect on your oral pH levels.
Highly Acidic Food and Drinks
An essential step toward tooth decay prevention is being aware of what foods are potentially sabotaging your attempts to achieve healthy teeth. Consuming foods high in acidity causes weakened tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay and other adverse side effects. Some examples of food and beverages that are highly acidic include:
- Coffee or tea, especially if they are sweetened
- Soda and lemonade
- Sticky snacks, such as raisins or chewy candies
- Tomato products
- Any foods that stick to your teeth after eating them, such as potato chips
How to Reduce Acidity
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are excellent habits to achieve an ideal oral pH level, but they not usually enough to tackle all the acidity that is causing bacteria and plaque. Prevention procedures conducted in Dr. Tomazin’s office can help eliminate a significant amount of acid to help combat bacteria and other concerns that lead to tooth decay. Some behaviors should be avoided while others are healthy options that will assist in lowering acid levels in your mouth for an overall balanced pH.
Behaviors That Can Hinder PH Levels
- Between-meal snacking can expose teeth to acids that lead to damage, so limiting this habit can help reduce exposure to harmful acid levels.
- Cake, candy, cookies, crackers, french fries, mints, muffins, pretzels, raisins, and other dried fruits contain a lot of sugar, which increases acid levels. Eating a diet high in sugar will expose teeth to significant levels of acid.
Foods That Are Beneficial for PH Levels
- Cheese, chicken, nuts, and dairy products can protect tooth enamel due to their acid-counteracting qualities. Calcium and phosphorus found in these items also help protect teeth.
- Choose beans, fish, nuts, and seeds as your primary sources of protein, as they are less acidic than other protein sources.
- Consume a variety of vegetables (especially dark, leafy greens and orange vegetables) for a balanced pH level.
- Drink any coffee or sweet drinks quickly through a straw with your meal, if you are not able to remove them from your diet.
- Eat plenty of fruits, such as apples and pears, as part of a healthy diet. Fruits with a high water content can stimulate saliva which helps protect against tooth decay because of its antibacterial properties.
- Opt for whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, etc.) over processed grains, such as white bread.
It is essential to brush your teeth after every meal to remove plaque buildup and bacteria that can damage teeth. Drinking plenty of water with meals, eating any high acidity or sugary snacks with food, reducing coffee, alcohol, and soda intake, and chewing sugarless gum between meals can also help lower the level of acidity in your mouth. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine check-ups with your dentist can help prevent tooth decay and protect your smile from damaging acid.
Your dental health is important to us, so please reach out to learn more about tooth decay prevention and your oral pH levels by filling out our online contact form today.