Teeth and Diet

There are some well-proven connections between the foods we eat and our oral health. Sugar-filled drinks like soda and sweet snack foods provide bacteria with the fuel that they use to create acid. But, since sugar is present in almost everything we eat — including fruits and vegetables — how do you know what's good for teeth and what's not?

A good rule of thumb is to follow Health Canada recommendations for a healthy diet. In addition to being good for teeth, these guidelines can help you avoid obesity, diabetes and other health problems. They'll also help you get the right nutrients and minerals — those can help fight infection in the mouth and aid in the repair of early tooth damage.

Here are some simple tips that will help your diet help your teeth, while providing many other health benefits, too:

  • Read food labels, so you know what you're putting into your body.
  • Limit snacking — every time you eat a food with sugar in it, even gum or hard candy, acid attacks your teeth for 20 minutes or more.
  • Meal-time foods cause less harm because there is more saliva present. Saliva helps wash away sugars and lessen the effect of acids.
  • Brush twice a day.
  • Visit your dentist every six months to catch potential problems before they get serious.