Foods to Eat When Avoiding Cavities

Written by Celina Duran Lozano

January 02, 2020

The toothbrush, as we know it today, is just a couple hundred years old. They consisted of a bone handle with stiff hog’s hair bristles. Mmm hmm … just a smidge of tooth polish on your top-of-the-line hog bristles and clean teeth are yours for the taking.

When you consider that our ancestors didn’t have access to Twizzlers, Twinkies and DoritosⓇ, or Mountain DewⓇ, it’s pretty forgivable to think it wasn’t necessary to brush our teeth. 

However, Europeans were addicted to sugar for centuries before the modern toothbrush was invented, and archeologists have discovered that dental problems were just as rampant thousands and even millions of years ago. They may not have been snacking on refined sugars, but our ancestors did love wine, citrus fruits, and starchy carbohydrates.

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Those pesky carbohydrates can wreak havoc inside a mouth when they are left to sit on our teeth, breaking down and disturbing the enamel.

Obviously, cavities are not just a modern problem. Fortunately, they’re also not an unavoidable fact of modern life. It is possible to eat so cleanly that you don’t need to worry about getting a single cavity.

I think that is pretty good news! Of course, it’s not easy; you still need to take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing, but it is certainly achievable.

How to Eat to Avoid Cavities

Sugar is a well-known culprit for causing cavities. Minimizing sugar is key to reducing cavities, but this super-sweet and highly-addictive foodstuff isn’t the only thing doing damage to your enamel, and there are other dietary changes you can make to improve your oral health.

Eat a Big Breakfast

You have two choices in the morning: 

  1. Eat a big breakfast that contains sugar and then brush, floss, and rinse, or 
  2. Eat a savory breakfast that includes as little sugar as possible. 

Obviously, door number 2 is preferable for overall health.

Breakfast is one of the few meals when the average person can devote time to their oral hygiene because they’re eating at home and not on the go or stuck at work/school. 

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So, don’t be afraid to eat a little sugar and then offset the damage afterward. Wehoo! Cake for breakfast! 

If you’re eating acidic fruits or drinking acidic juices, it’s important to wait at least half an hour before you brush. The acidity can weaken your enamel and if you brush immediately afterward you can do further damage. Give your saliva time to neutralize the acid and then brush.

Otherwise, it’s like scrubbing your skin when you have a sunburn. Just don’t do it!

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If you’re prone to snacking throughout the day, then a big breakfast is vital because it keeps you fueled longer. Eat complex and filling carbs like oatmeal and whole grain bread, as well as healthy fats and protein. A big bowl of oatmeal with Greek yogurt and fruit is the ideal combination, but there’s nothing wrong with a couple of eggs either.

Eat Soup

Soup is a simple way to fill your stomach without overloading on calories. You can avoid sugar and other energy-dense foods while still feeling like you’ve had a big meal. That way, you won’t feel the need to snack on candy bars and soda throughout the day. (Nope. Drinking diet soda is still not a good idea!)

If you work at an office, take a thermos of soup and a salad or piece of fruit to work instead of  candy bars, chips, and sandwiches. And, not to be a total Debbie Downer, do not snack on candy at your co-workers’ desks.

Eat Lots of Raw Vegetables

Carrots and celery taste great raw and they can also clean your teeth while you eat. They are fibrous and gently scrub your enamel every time you take a bite. They do contain sugars, but they’re all-natural and won’t harm your teeth.

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You won’t get the same benefits with boiled or cooked vegetables, but generally, a diet rich in fresh vegetables is great for your oral health. There are no refined sugars or fats to worry about and while you may get the occasional bit of spinach stuck between your teeth, it won’t do the same damage as a hunk of Dorito or piece of candy.

Eat the Right Fruits

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges can damage your teeth if you eat too much. Plus, if you’re prone to dry mouth, then you’ll do even more damage as you need saliva to neutralize the acidity.

You can rinse with water, but it’s best to avoid these fruits altogether and eat fibrous, low-acidic fruits like apples. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?!

In fact, apples provide many of the same benefits offered by raw vegetables like carrots and celery, but they’ll also give you a sugar fix that you might be missing.

Eat Lots of Raw Vegetables

Carrots and celery taste great raw and they can also clean your teeth while you eat. They are fibrous and gently scrub your enamel every time you take a bite. They do contain sugars, but they’re all-natural and won’t harm your teeth.

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Drink Water and Rinse with it

Oil pulling is everywhere these days and is just one of the many benefits of coconut oil. The idea is that you swish the oil around your mouth for 20 minutes and then spit. The oil is known to attract all the bacteria and food particles, so it helps to remove them.

And while it might sound like a fad, there is some truth to it. Researchers found that oil pulling can greatly reduce the level of bacteria in the mouth, putting a smile on the face of millions of proponents of this trendy technique. 

However, the same researchers tested this technique with water and found it to be just as effective. In other words, the act of vigorously rinsing is what’s removing the bacteria, not the oil.

If you want a clean and healthy way to stay cavity-free, you can use this to your advantage. After every meal, rinse your mouth with water. This will help to remove the bacteria and stop it from sticking to your teeth and gums. It will also help to neutralize the acidity in your mouth without drying it out like alcohol-based mouthwashes do.

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It’s almost always a great idea to drink lots of water. Hydration is key to regulating the flow of saliva, which is essential for neutralizing acidity and killing bacteria. 

Eating Your Way to White Teeth

If you don’t have any pre existing issues and have perfectly white teeth, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain those pearly whites with a healthy, low-sugar diet. However, if your teeth are already discolored and remain that way no matter how often you brush, no amount of celery and apples will help you.

The root of the problem is underneath the enamel, in a place where brushing just can’t reach. Your teeth consist of an outer surface, the enamel, and an inner surface, the dentin. Enamel can be discolored with plaque (removed by brushing) and tartar (removed by the dentist). Dentin is discolored by numerous factors (including medication, trauma, and age) and can only be removed by bleaching.

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You don’t need to pay $2,000+ for a dental tray, and you don’t need to try a high-risk, high-cost, and questionably-produced bleaching solution. We created the Snow Teeth Whitening solution to give you an affordable, easy, and safe way to bleach your teeth at home. 

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Eat well, stay hydrated, brush your teeth twice a day, use Snow once in a while, and you’ll have an A-list smile all year long!