The average American consumes 22 grams of sugar per day, which is double the recommended daily amount. All of that sugar does considerable damage to tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and other oral issues. Some of the beverages we consume are surprisingly high in sugar. Below are some of the best – and worst – drinks for your teeth.
- Drinks that Help Your Teeth
- Low Sugar Vegetable Juice
- Drinks that Hurt Your Teeth
- Sports Drinks
- How to Help Reduce Negative Effects
- Visit Our Office
- Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks
- Tips for healthy teeth
- Crunchy foods
- Vitamin-rich foods
- Sugarless gum
- Drinking orange juice after brushing teeth
- Eating after brushing teeth
- Can I drink milk after brushing my teeth
- Dentist in Wayne NJ discusses the affects of milk on your teeth
- Milk as source of sugar
- Is Milk Good For Your Teeth?
- Health Benefits of Milk
- How much milk should I drink?
- Milk Alternatives
- Good-for-Your-Mouth Foods
- Make Your Dentist Proud: Healthy Foods for Healthy Teeth
- Beware These Bad-for-Your-Teeth Foods
Drinks that Help Your Teeth
Water – especially water with fluoride – helps strengthen and clean teeth. With every sip, water cleans your teeth by ridding them of any leftover foods or acids. It also washes away bacteria and sugars that can eventually lead to cavities. Water has zero calories, and helps restore the Ph balance in your mouth to fight unhealthy levels of acid.
Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth. Milk also contains a protein called casein – a substance that helps fight tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. The calcium and phosphorous in milk also strengthen and repair tooth enamel that has dissolved due to acid.
Low Sugar Vegetable Juice
Vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you could possibly eat, so it makes sense then that vegetable juice would improve your oral health. When buying – or making – vegetable juice, make sure that you limit the percentage of fruit in the juice, since fruits are high in sugar. Typically, dark green vegetable juices are better for your teeth. Juice that has kale, or spinach contain healthy B vitamins that can help fight against gum disease. Leafy greens are also high in calcium, which boosts your enamel health.
If you want your vegetable juice to be a bit sweeter, look for juices containing small amounts of apple or carrots, as they are sweet and healthy in moderation.
Drinks that Hurt Your Teeth
Fruit juices are often chosen as an alternative to sugary sodas, but did you know that some juices have as much sugar as the leading colas? Apple juice has as much as 10 tsp. of sugar per serving, which is the exact amount as the leading brand cola. The sugar and citric acids in fruit juice can lead to tooth decay. If you must drink juice, you can lower the sugar by cutting it with water. Alternatively, you can look for low sugar juice options as well.
Sports drinks can also contain more sugar than leading cola beverages, with as much as 19 grams of sugar per serving. Additionally, sports drinks contain an unhealthy amount of sodium (salt) which can be as much as a bag of potato chips per bottle. Sports drinks can eat away at tooth enamel, and can contain very unhealthy amounts of calories.
The gold standard of “terrible for teeth” are soft drinks. Sodas are awful for teeth because they are high in two of the worst things for teeth: sugar and acid. There are some sodas that contain more than the total recommended amount of daily sugar in one 20 oz. bottle! The high sugar and acid content can eat away the enamel that protects your teeth, and can lead to cavities. Consuming too much soda can cause irreparable harm to your body in the form of diabetes and other diseases. Your best bet is to stay away from sodas all together to avoid exposing your teeth to unhealthy levels of sugar and acid.
How to Help Reduce Negative Effects
If your child does drink sugary beverages, then they can help curb some of the negative effects by swishing water around in their mouth once they’re finished. Additionally, they should brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time and floss once per day to remove debris between their teeth.
Visit Our Office
If you are worried that your child is drinking too much soda, or if they are beginning to complain of sensitive teeth that may be related to consuming too many sugary drinks, then visit our office. We will evaluate your child’s smile and determine a treatment plan that’s best.
Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks
The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids). For those people that are lactose intolerant and cannot ingest milk products, green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are high in calcium.
Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
Poor food choices include candy — such as lollipops, hard candies, and mints — cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large amounts of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for bacteria. In addition, cough drops should be used only when necessary as they, like sugary candy, contribute to tooth decay.
The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks — day-long sipping exposes your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids.
Tips for healthy teeth
(Image credit: Healthy teeth photo via )
Regular brushing and flossing help keep teeth healthy by getting rid of sugars and food particles that team up with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque produces acid that damages tooth enamel, causes cavities and sets the stage for periodontal, or gum, disease.
Now, a growing body of research is finding that certain foods may be good for teeth, too. Just as so-called “functional foods” may keep your heart healthy, for instance, others may promote oral health, according to Christine D. Wu, a pediatric dentistry researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Here are eight teeth-friendly foods that show promise.
(Image credit: Debbie Schiel | Stock Xchng)
Compounds called polyphenols, found in black and green teas, slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that people who rinsed their mouths with black tea for one minute, 10 times a day, had less plaque buildup on their teeth than people who rinsed their mouths with water. What’s more, the size and stickness of their plaque was reduced.
Tea undermines the ability of some bacteria to clump together with other bacteria, the researchers said.
In a 2010 study published in the Journal of Dental Research, Wu and her colleagues wrote that tea, especially black tea, fights halitosis, or bad breath. “Polyphenols suppress the genes of bacteria that control the production of smelly compounds in the mouth,” Wu said.
(Image credit: stock.xchng)
Research published in the journal General Dentistry earlier this year reported that 12- to 15-year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than those who ate sugar-free yogurt or drank a glass of milk.
After eating the foods, the adolescents and teens rinsed their mouths with water. The acid, or pH, levels in their mouths were then measured 10, 20 and 30 minutes after rinsing. Those who drank milk or ate yogurt showed no change in their pH levels, but the cheese eaters had a rapid drop at each measurement interval.
Cheese may neutralize the plaque acid, said Wu, who was not involved in the cheese study. What’s more, chewing increases saliva production. “Like a river, saliva washes out some of the bacteria in the mouth,” she said.
(Image credit: MIT)
Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose, or table sugar. Sugar helps bacteria stick to the tooth surface, letting them produce plaque, Wu said. Raisins are also a source of phytochemicals, which may kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease, Wu has found.
(Image credit: Flickr/Amanda Oliver.)
It takes serious chewing to break down foods such as carrots, apples and cucumbers. But all that crunching isn’t in vain. Chewing “may disturb dental plaque, and serve as a cleansing mechanism,” Wu said. So instead of remaining in your mouth and settling on teeth, bacteria get cleared away.
(Image credit: Nuts photo via )
Foods containing calcium — such as cheese, almonds and leafy greens — and foods high in phosphorous — such as meat, eggs and fish — can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy, according to the American Dental Association.
“Acidic foods and beverages may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel,” Wu said. “Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into those lesions.” Calcium is also good for bones, including your jaw.
(Image credit: StockLite | .com)
Pop a stick in your mouth after eating. Chewing boosts saliva secretion, clearing away some bacteria, Wu said. The keyword here is “sugarless.” Bacteria rely on sucrose to produce plaque, Wu said.
(Image credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian | Stock Xchng)
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in July, Wu and her team found that drinking a glass of milk after downing dry, sugar-sweetened Fruit Loops lowered levels of acid in the mouth more than drinking water or apple juice did.
“Milk neutralizes some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria,” Wu said. Adding milk to cereal doesn’t have the same benefit, however. “The milk becomes syrupy and sweet, which is bad for teeth,” Wu added. Drinking a glass of milk after eating a sweet dessert, like chocolate cake, may protect teeth, too. (If milk isn’t handy, nibble on some post-dessert cheese.)
(Image credit: Muffet via flickr | http://bit.ly/196exwa)
Cranberries contain polyphenols (just as tea does), which may keep plaque from sticking to teeth, thus lowering the risk of cavities, according to a study published in the journal Caries Research. A caveat: Because the fruit is so tart, many cranberry products have added sugar, which may affect any potential benefits for teeth, Wu said.
Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.
Brushing your teeth is the best way to protect them. You can clean off plaque buildup and food particles together! This stops the buildup of bacteria that cause bad breath and even cavities. Brushing your teeth multiple times a day (like you should) means that sooner or later, you’re going to have to eat after brushing. When you can, lean towards later, rather than sooner. Eating too soon after brushing your teeth can weaken your tooth’s enamel and cause more problems down the line.
Drinking orange juice after brushing teeth
Orange juice is loaded with the vitamin C you need to stay healthy. It’s also loaded with acid! Citric acid is extremely hard on your teeth. It’s strong enough to weaken your enamel temporarily! If you find yourself craving that standard morning pick me up after brushing your teeth, resist temptation! If you wait at least 30 minutes, your teeth will thank you. Brushing your teeth can naturally (and temporarily) weaken your enamel. You get everything clean, but the abrasive action of the toothbrush is the price you pay. If you sip orange juice while your enamel is still weak, the citric acid has a chance to go wild on your vulnerable teeth! Wait half an hour before indulging in a citrus drink of any type, from orange juice to lemonade.
Eating after brushing teeth
While some foods are easier on your teeth than others, as a general rule you should wait at least thirty minutes after brushing to eat. It’s just playing it safe. A better way to handle things, however, is to plan when you’re brushing your teeth more carefully. There’s no reason to brush your teeth directly before eating. To keep your teeth healthy, you need to brush after every meal anyway. Hold off on brushing your teeth in the morning until after breakfast, for example. If you start your day with breakfast, then shower and get ready, brush your teeth right before you step out the door. Then don’t eat again until lunch!
Can I drink milk after brushing my teeth
People think of milk as a very soothing drink. It can help calm your stomach and get you ready to sleep, but it’s not a good choice for a post-tooth brushing refreshment. Milk has a lot of natural sugar in it. Letting sugar coat teeth that have just been brushed can prompt plaque buildup. There are always germs in your mouth, even right after brushing your teeth. Drinking milk is like giving them a feast! If the bacteria digest the sugar and excrete acid onto your still weakened enamel, it can prompt tooth decay. Follow the general thirty-minute rule before sipping milk after brushing your teeth!
Brushing your teeth is great in the long run, but it can temporarily weaken your enamel. Follow the general rule of waiting thirty minutes after brushing to eat or drink. Better yet, plan your day so brushing happens after eating!
Dentist in Wayne NJ discusses the affects of milk on your teeth
Calcium is the key component in building strong bones, as you already know, and milk products are packed with it. In fact, a cup of milk gives 300 milligrams of calcium. And that’s not all; they also keep your teeth and bones healthy throughout your life. So, there’s no doubt that milk is good for your teeth.
Milk as source of sugar
Milk is one of the main sources of sugars in your diet. But this is not an excuse to stop drinking milk. You already know that drinking milk actually promotes healthy teeth bones. Lactose, which is the sugar in milk, is least damaging to our teeth. Also, the calcium found in milk helps children develop strong primary and permanent teeth.
In addition, when cavity-causing foods such as cookies are eaten along with milk, the milk can actually help protect your teeth from damage. This is because milk can remineralize your teeth. If you don’t drink milk, there are toothpastes that can help remineralize your teeth (ask your dentist about it).
How it affects your teeth when you drink it before sleeping
Milk is good for your teeth during the day, but it can be hazardous to your teeth at night. When you or your kids drink milk before bedtime, thinking that milk is good for the teeth, you’re wrong. Remember that the lactose in milk can be very dangerous if it sits on your teeth as you sleep. Lactose is sugar, and sugar should be avoided before sleeping.
Milk that lingers on your teeth can cause damage. Without brushing your teeth after drinking milk (especially at night before sleeping), the sugar in milk will stay on your teeth. This will lead to cavities and decay. It’s also good to rinse your mouth with water after having milk during the day.
So, if you must have some milk at night, make sure to brush your teeth before going to bed. If you’re a parent, think twice before putting your child to bed with a bottle of milk. You know that the keys to a good dental health involve brushing, flossing, and avoiding certain foods like sugary treats.
Is Milk Good For Your Teeth?
Got milk? If you answered yes, then you’re on the right track! Milk is a delicious, inexpensive drink packed with nutrients that can help you get stronger, lose weight and possibly avoid health issues down the road.
Health Benefits of Milk
Milk contains nine essential nutrients that benefit your health:
- Calcium. Helps build bone and healthy teeth, enables muscle contraction and blood flow.
- Protein. Important for repairing muscles, tissues and skin.
- Vitamin D. Promotes bone growth and calcium absorption, and regulates your immune system.
- Vitamin B12. Keeps your nerves and blood cells healthy, and helps make DNA.
- Vitamin A. Important for your vision, immune system and reproductive health.
- Potassium. Helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions.
- Phosphorus. Involved in the body’s energy production, and helps it absorb calcium.
- Riboflavin. Helps break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- Niacin. Aids digestion.
If you’re looking for a theme in all that – it’s all about bone health! Drinking one glass of milk gets you as much calcium as 2 1/4 cups of broccoli, as much potassium as a banana, and as much Vitamin D as a small salmon fillet.
Absolutely, yes. Drinking milk makes your teeth stronger and protects tooth enamel. It also strengthens your jaw bone, which can help you keep your natural teeth longer, and fights tooth decay.
For children, expectant mothers and women in general, milk is especially important. Children—from infancy through high school—need ample amounts of calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth development. And for women who are pre- or post-menopausal, drinking milk is an excellent defense against osteoporosis.
How much milk should I drink?
The recommended daily milk serving is 1000-1300 micrograms. But since nobody we know measures their food servings that way, the recommended intake is anywhere from 2-4 glasses each day.
For the real answer to this question, it is best to speak with your family doctor or nutritionist. It is estimated that over 65 percent of the world has a reduced ability to process lactose or is lactose intolerant, and—as you probably already know—lactose is a sugar contained in dairy products such as milk, cheese or yogurt.
Milk and other dairy products have been shown to reduce cholesterol for some people, but other studies have shown an increase in
If you don’t like milk, are lactose intolerant or concerned that milk doesn’t agree with your preferred diet, there are luckily plenty of alternatives available at the supermarket!
Yogurt and cheese are probably the easiest to find. Yogurt is actually higher in calcium per serving than milk, and eating cheese encourages salivation, which can clean harmful bacteria from your mouth. If you’re looking through the yogurt aisle this week, give some low-fat or low-sugar varieties a try!
Fish, like salmon or tuna, can help you meet your daily Vitamin D and calcium needs. And for vegetarians – tofu, kale, turnips and bok choy are also a great choice.
For anyone who just can’t live without that wonderful glass of milk with their cookies, we recommend unsweetened soy milk as an excellent substitute. If you need something a little sweeter, give almond milk a try – it does not have as much protein, but is lower in calories than cow’s milk.
Posted in: General Oral Health
Eat. Brush. Floss. Repeat! You know the keys to dental health involve a toothbrush, dental floss, and avoiding certain foods (think sticky, sugary treats).
But were you aware that certain foods are actually good for your teeth and gums? Turns out, simply eating lunch could be a part of your daily dental routine.
For instance, foods rich in calcium help ensure not only strong bones, but also healthy teeth. Other beneficial snacks include those containing polyphenols and probiotics, which can help encourage a healthy environment in your mouth.
So, go ahead — take a bite into these tooth-friendly foods (plus, check out which ones to avoid).
Make Your Dentist Proud: Healthy Foods for Healthy Teeth
Milk. “Milk is one of the main sources of sugars in the diet,” says Ellie Phillips, DDS, a founding member of the nonprofit American Academy for Oral Systemic Health and author of Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye.
But that’s not an excuse to skimp on the white stuff: Drinking milk can actually promote healthy teeth and bones. “The sugar in milk is lactose, which is the least damaging to teeth,” explains Dr. Phillips, and the calcium found in the beverage helps kids develop strong baby and adult teeth.
In addition, Phillips says, studies have shown that when cavity-causing foods are eaten along with milk (cookies, anyone?), the milk can actually help protect teeth from damage. If you don’t drink milk, ask your dentist about toothpastes that can remineralize your teeth.
However, as good for your teeth as milk is during the day, it can be a hazard to them at night. Always be sure to brush before sleeping, and think twice before putting a child to bed with a bottle of milk (or juice or other sweetened drink). These beverages can linger on the teeth, causing extensive damage.
Green tea. Certain teas may promote dental health because they contain polyphenols, which have the potential to clean plaque from the teeth. In fact, researchers in Japan found that people who drank one or more cups of green tea a day had decreased odds of losing their teeth. However, Phillips warns that even though teas may be good for your teeth, they can be acidic, which can be harmful — so sip carefully.
Cheese. “Cheese has similar properties to milk and makes the mouth nonacidic and raises calcium levels around teeth, which is very protective,” explains Phillips. “Studies with Dutch Edam cheese showed that children ages 7 to 9 who ate a 5-gram cube after breakfast each day for two years had significantly fewer cavities than other children.”
For your dental health, look for cheeses with a bacterial element, such as blue cheese, Brie, or Camembert, to take advantage of cheese’s probiotic benefits. A note for grown-ups: The acidic nature of wine and beer can hurt your teeth, so pare some good-for-your-teeth cheese with that alcoholic beverage.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables. Good saliva flow is important in creating an alkaline environment in the mouth, thereby protecting teeth from exposure to acid. Crunchy vegetables help create that flow of saliva; also, some fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols, which also stimulate saliva. Keep in mind that some fruits are acidic and that they all contain sugars, so although they’re still a good choice, follow up with good dental hygiene after eating.
Yogurt. Some dental problems are caused by harmful germs in the mouth. That’s why it’s important to decrease the bad bacteria and repopulate the mouth with healthy, protective bacteria. To help encourage a healthy mouth environment, consider organic whole-milk yogurt with probiotics and proteins.
Raisins. “Although most people think of raisins as sticky, studies show that our perception of them is inaccurate,” says Phillips. “Raisins are high in fiber and contain the same healthy polyphenols as grapes. They also appear to contain a phytochemical called oleanolic acid that is antibacterial against certain plaque bacteria.” Important to note, however, is that raisins are acidic, so they’re best eaten as part of a meal followed by protective cheese or milk.
Shiitake mushrooms. Researchers have found that these mushrooms have the potential to encourage good dental health by remineralizing teeth and discouraging acid that can be harmful.
Beware These Bad-for-Your-Teeth Foods
Though it’s great to eat foods that can assist in preventing cavities, it’s also important to avoid some real dangers.
Lemons and other citrus fruits can actually pull minerals out of teeth. And cereals can also cause damage with bits of flakes sticking to the teeth for hours and sugars feeding bacteria and producing acids that erode teeth.
Of course, diet sodas are a big no-no. Their acidity levels are “close to battery acid,” Phillips says. “These drinks have the ability to erode enamel and make it brittle, more easily broken, and porous so teeth stain easily and darken in color.”
Ultimately, foods can make a difference — in good ways and bad. Choose wisely!
Soy milk may be worse for your teeth than cow’s milk, a new study suggests.
The results show bacteria commonly found in the mouth produce five to six times more acid when they feed on soy milk compared to cow’s milk.
Acids in the mouth contribute to the formation of plaque on teeth, which in turn cause tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
The findings suggest soy beverages have a higher potential to cause cavities, compared with cow’s milk, the researchers say.
However, the study was conducted in laboratory dishes, and so more work is needed before researchers know whether soy milk actually damages teeth, said William Bowen, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester’s Center for Oral Biology, who was not involved in the study.
The cavity risk of most substances depends on how you use them, Bowen said. For instance, drinking one glass of soy milk is unlikely to harm teeth, but allowing a baby to sip from a bottle containing soy milk all day might be cause for concern, Bowen said. In contrast, cow’s milk is known not to promote cavities, regardless of how much is consumed, Bowen said.
“It’s suspicious, but more work is certainly needed to support the contention,” Bowen said of the study’s main conclusion.
Eric Reynolds, of the University of Melbourne’s Dental School in Australia, and colleagues chose four Australian-brand soy beverages, and two brands of cow’s milk for their experiments. The milks were each mixed with bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which are found in the human mouth and commonly associated with cavities.
They found that the soy beverages, after the addition of the bacteria, became more acidic within 10 minutes.
In contrast, the acidity of the cow’s milk was not changed significantly after the bacteria were added.
The researchers did not include saliva in their experiments, which could produce an effect to counteract the high acid production of soy milk, Bowen noted.
The study was published online May 17 in the Journal of Dentistry.
Pass it on: Soy milk may have a higher potential to cause cavities compared to cow’s milk.
Follow Rachael Rettner on Twitter @RachaelRettner,or MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND. We’re also on Facebook & Google+.