Do you LOVE spaghetti? Did you know that tomatoes, lemons, and other acidic foods are OK to eat but don’t suck on them or keep them in your mouth for a long period of time. The acidic juice in these foods can erode the enamel of your teeth. Citrus fruits and foods with tomatoes (including pizza, soup and pasta sauce), pickles, honey and wine can all be damaging to your teeth if they are consumed too often or held in the mouth for too long.
Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables stimulate saliva flow, which is a natural defense against cavities. Saliva washes away food particles and cleans your mouth about 20 minutes after you eat something, as it begins to neutralize the acids attacking your teeth. Crisp fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help stimulate saliva flow and also help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help rinse harmful acid off your teeth to help you preserve tooth enamel. But be sure it’s sugarless! Chewing gum containing sugar may actually increase your chances of developing a cavity. Sugarless gum containing xylitol, which has been shown to have decay-preventive qualities, may even have an added benefit. Research indicates that xylitol most likely inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the oral bacteria that causes cavities.