Food and oral health
How you eat can impact your oral health. Snacking frequently between meals, for example, increases your teeth’s exposure to sugars and acids left behind by foods, which feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay (cavities). The more often you eat, the more often your teeth are at risk.
Eat in moderation
Sugar, found in foods like candy, baked goods and even fruit, is exactly what the bacteria living in the plaque in your mouth needs to eat to produce acid. Acids can dissolve tooth enamel and cause tooth decay or cavities. For this same reason, foods that are high in acidity like citrus fruits, condiments and fresh or processed meats, can lead to poor oral health.1 Foods that are hard or chewy also can be tough on the teeth. Hard foods can damage the enamel of your teeth while you chew. Sticky or chewy foods can get stuck between your teeth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
Enjoy for oral health
Foods that are high in calcium, like yogurt, cheese and sour cream, are good for the health of your teeth, as calcium is one of the essential building blocks of enamel.2 Many foods are calcium-fortified, like tofu and cereals, so these options can be added even to diets that don’t allow for dairy products. Vegetables are always good options for whole body health. Fruits are, too; just keep up with your brushing and flossing to counteract the acidity of citrus fruits. Fruit and vegetables are high in fiber and water, which is a good balance for the naturally occurring sugars in some foods. Chewing these foods stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to wash away food particles, acid and sugar leftover after you eat.
The TRICARE Dental Program has you covered
Read more about the importance of dental care by accessing the library of TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) oral care pamphlets.