crunchy foods

Crunchy Food and your Oral Health – the Good and the Bad

crunchy foodsBloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA

You know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, and should be a regular part of a healthy diet. But, did you know that what you eat could also benefit your teeth?

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it also can make dental visits more pleasant. Eating crunchy fruits such as apples and pears gives your mouth a workout that can clear away plaque and bacteria, while also providing a delicious source of fiber for your diet.

Raw vegetables also have beneficial qualities for your oral health. For example, carrots and celery stimulate the flow of saliva, which is part of your mouth’s natural defense system against plaque and bacteria that are the building blocks of tooth decay. Carrots and celery also are high in beta-carotene, which is used to make Vitamin A, which helps make your teeth stronger.

Keep in mind, although these foods can benefit your teeth, they are not to be used as a substitute for normal oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing daily. These snacks are ideal to eat anytime, but can be especially good for your oral health when you are not able to brush between meals.

Not every food with a crunch is an asset to your oral health.

Snack foods such as chips, crackers, and pretzels can be harmful. Particles of these crunchy foods can get stuck in the grooves of your teeth and, because of their high carbohydrate content, carb loaded snacks quickly convert to sugars that can deteriorate the natural enamel on your teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay.

We all know that too many sweets can be bad for your oral health, but hard candies can be one of the worst choices possible when it comes to maintaining your chompers. Sucking on candy gives the sugars in it additional time to wear down tooth enamel, and the sticky quality of most hard candies means the sugar can stick to your teeth, encouraging the development of tooth decay. Cough drops, unless sugar-free, are also just as bad for your teeth. However, there is certainly good reason for needing to suck on cough drops throughout the day such as when you are sick, just be sure not to forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day.  

Your best defense against oral health issues such as tooth decay is to maintain a good regimen of at-home oral hygiene, while also making good dietary choices. It is also important to visit the dentist for routine dental checkups and cleanings. During these visits the dentist can assess your oral health, and address any concerns when they first appear.  

To learn more about protecting your oral health, contact the office at Hamilton Dental Care by calling (570) 387-0533. We will be happy to answer any questions. We also can schedule you for a professional cleaning or any of our other preventive care services, which help lower your risk of tooth decay.

Hamilton Dental Care is here to serve patients in the areas of Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA.