Best and worst foods for your teeth

Published On: Sep 26 2012 10:02:53 AM CDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2012 02:45:01 PM CDT
Prices - Chocolate

By Bruce E. Beans, Pure Matters

If you are what you eat, that's particularly true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and munch starchy foods, you're not only feeding yourself, you're feeding the plaque that can cause havoc in your mouth.

If you are what you eat, that's particularly true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and munch starchy foods, you're not only feeding yourself, you're feeding the plaque that can cause havoc in your mouth.

Plaque is a thin, invisible film of sticky bacteria and other materials that covers all the surfaces of all your teeth. When sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, the acids that result can attack teeth for 20 minutes or more after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth, leading to tooth decay. Plaque also produces toxins that attack the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Although some foods invite tooth decay, others help combat plaque buildup. Here are some foods to seek out and some to avoid.

The good guys

Before we get to foods that are particularly bad for your teeth, Dr. Price offers a rule of thumb: The longer food that promotes plaque bacteria stays in your mouth, the worse it is. So it's not necessarily the amount of sweets you eat, but how often you eat them.

"Having one jelly doughnut or piece of candy per hour will cause more damage than having 10 of them at the same time," he says.

The bad guys

How to eat for a healthy mouth

The American Dental Association offers these tips to help reduce tooth-decay risk from the foods you eat: