You are certainly aware that what you eat and drink has a big effect on your body. But have you thought about how diet influences your oral health? And it’s not just about the obvious stuff, like reducing sugary snacks and soda (and that Halloween candy, which you may already be stocking up on).
There are lots of things you can consume that actually help improve the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. As it happens, these edibles tend to be good for you overall, too. Work on adding more of these dental superfoods to your diet, and call 859-474-7830 to schedule your next checkup at Edgewood Dental Care of Edgewood, KY.
Dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt are chock-full of calcium and protein. These two nutrients strengthen bone and tooth enamel, making your teeth better able to resist acid attacks from bacteria.
Research shows that cheese raises the pH levels in your mouth, which helps protect against decay. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that may crowd out the “bad” bacteria in your mouth. Just steer clear of sweetened yogurts, whose high sugar contents counteract any beneficial effects.
Kale, spinach, swiss chard, and other leafy green have numerous benefits to your body. They are good for oral health in a couple of ways. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, including enamel-boosting calcium. Plus, they contain folic acid, a vitamin that may help keep your gums disease-free.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Snacking on raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots, celery, and apples is a great way to keep your mouth clean between meals. They increase saliva production, which helps wash bits of food and bacteria away from your mouth. Their fibrous textures stimulates the gums in a positive way. Even if they contain some sugar, like apples, they are a good thing for your oral health. Plus, they are packed with healthy vitamins.
In addition to being delicious, sweet potatoes deliver a big dose of vitamin A to your body. Vitamin A is essential to gum health. It also promotes keratin formation, which helps keep tooth enamel strong.
Kiwis contain more vitamin C than any other fruit. Vitamin C is vital for maintaining the collagen in your gums, which helps to protect them from the nasty bacteria the cause periodontal disease.
Nuts are low in sugar and other carbohydrates and high in protein and minerals. That makes them a great pick for the health of your teeth. They also do a great job of increasing saliva production as you chew them, which helps keep the mouth clean between meals.
Lean meats such as fish, poultry, beef, and pork are rich in phosphorus, protein, and a host of other minerals that help keep teeth strong and healthy.
Black and Green Tea
You may be surprised to see tea on this list, as it’s well known to cause unsightly staining. However, tea has powerful benefits for oral health. Black and green tea contain polyphenols, which are compounds believed to slow the growth of the bacteria that lead to gum disease and tooth decay. They also help combat bad breath, or halitosis. Green tea contains bacteria-fighting catechins.
Stop with the sodas, sports drinks, and juices. If you want to quench your thirst, stick with plain ol’ H20. Chug it all day, if you want. In fact, it’s a great idea to keep a reusable bottle filled with tap water at your side at all times. Why tap? Because, in addition to eliminating the plastic waste associated with disposable water bottles, tap water is fortified with fluoride. This totally safe mineral is essential to keeping tooth enamel strong and able to resist acid attacks from bacteria.
Drinking water also helps to rinse bacteria and food particles out of your mouth. This keeps your mouth clean throughout the day, even if you are not able to brush after every meal.
If you are itching for something to chew on, opt for sugarless gum. The action of chewing gum turns up the saliva production in your mouth, which helps keep it clean and prevents tooth decay. The ADA says that gum sweetened by xylitol actually reduces the destructive acids on your teeth.
Increase your intake of these foods, and you are helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. Another important element of good oral health is to visit our office regularly for cleanings and exams. To book an appointment at Edgewood Dental Care of Edgewood, KY, call 859-474-7830. Or fill out our online contact form.