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Impact of Diet on Cavity Risk

Learn more about how to reduce your risk of cavities

Thanks to our Friends at Friends & Family Dental Health for providing us with these dental hygiene tips and tricks. According to Dr. Ma at Friends & Family Dental, diet accounts for 2/3 of your dental health! Find out more about what foods can reduce the risk of cavities. 

Girl smiling with a plate of food standing in a kitchen

Maintaining good oral health is an essential part of overall well-being. While brushing and flossing are the primary ways to keep teeth and gums healthy, our diet also plays a significant role. Tooth decay or cavities are a common dental problem that affects people of all ages. The development of cavities can lead to severe pain and even tooth loss if left untreated. Therefore, it is essential to take preventive measures to avoid cavities. One way to do this is by avoiding certain foods that are notorious for causing cavities. In this blog post, we'll discuss the foods to avoid to reduce the risk of cavities. 

No Cavity Risk Foods

There are some foods that pose no risk to dental health.

  • Raw and steamed vegetables
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Healthy fats

Foods such as apples, carrots, and celery require more chewing, which helps to stimulate saliva production. Saliva is essential for neutralizing acids and washing away harmful bacteria from teeth and gums.

Low Cavity Risk Foods

Some foods are low-risk for causing cavities, but they should still be consumed in moderation. These include

  • Yogurt
  • Natural fats also contain protein and are a good source of calcium and phosphorus.

  • Fresh Fruits

  • Whole grains (including unsweetened bread, oatmeal, and rice)

  • Natural, fresh smoothies

  • Dark chocolate (>70% Cacao)

Dairy products are rich in calcium, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Additionally, the proteins found in dairy products help to neutralize acids in the mouth.

Girl smiling and holding a plate of food

High Cavity Risk Foods

Unfortunately, there are some foods that are high-risk for dental health. These include sugary foods and drinks,

  • Candy
  • Soda, and sports drinks.
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Fruit juice (fresh and concentrated)
  • Granola bars and fruit snacks
  • Artificial cereals

When we consume sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars and produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Sticky, chewy foods such as caramel, taffy, and gummy candies are especially harmful to teeth. They stick to the surface of teeth and can be difficult to remove, allowing harmful bacteria to linger in the mouth for longer periods of time.

Preventative Dental Tips

To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it's important to adopt good oral hygiene habits and follow a healthy diet. Here are some tips to help you prevent dental problems:

  1. Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums.
  1. Prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance (meal prep) to avoid caving into unhealthy snack choices. You can browse our menu of health prepared meals and order meals for the entire week.
  1. Drink water to rinse away food particles and bacteria from teeth and gums. It helps to neutralize acids in the mouth. Read about easy ways to stay hydrated from our previous blog post here!
  1. If you do indulge in sugary treats, try to consume them with a meal instead of as a snack. This will help to limit the amount of time harmful bacteria are exposed to teeth and gums.
  1. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help to catch dental problems early and prevent them from becoming more serious. Friends and Family Dental is a great place to start!
  1. Get enough Vitamin D

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