We’re all familiar with that old saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The health benefits of fruits and vegetables are obvious, but what about the benefits to your oral health? While eating well should still always be a priority if you want healthy teeth and gums it can be hard to figure what to choose.
Almost everywhere you turn on the internet someone has a different take on healthy foods. At Edgewood Dental Care we want to take the time to set the record straight. Today we’re going to discuss just what’s good to eat so that you can make the right oral health choices when it comes to snacking and meals!
Let’s cover the obvious one first: apples are great for your teeth! For starters, they’re high in fiber, which is absolutely great for your teeth. Fiber helps stimulate saliva production, which in turn washes away oral bacteria and the tooth-damaging acids they produce.
Apples are also high in water content, which counteracts the sugar that they contain. They also contain malic acid, which can help remove minor tooth staining and yellowing. Make sure you choose whole fresh apples instead of their juice – fruit juices have all the really healthy bits stripped away!
Cheddar lovers of the world, rejoice: cheese is great at keeping your teeth healthy! It’s THE choice dairy product for helping your teeth because of how it sticks to them, continuing to provide acid-neutralizing pH changes and the release of helpful calcium and other compounds.
Cheese also promotes saliva production, which as we said above is essential for a healthy mouth. Other dairy products are great for your mouth as well, so don’t neglect your milk and yogurt intake. For the most benefit stick to cheese, though – and any kind will do!
Sure, it’s not a “food,” but tea can be a major boon for your oral health. Tea leaves contain compounds called catechins, which are great at fighting oral bacteria. They can actually kill it off and prevent it from sticking to your teeth for quite a while after you drink it.
A Japanese study of adults who drank green tea daily found that they had significantly lower rates of gum disease and tooth decay than those who didn’t. Our advice: ditch the morning coffee for a cup of tea. You’ll still get the pick-me-up, but you’ll be adding some tooth protection while you’re at it.
A note: don’t add sugar to tea: it nullifies the health benefits you’d get otherwise.
#4: Lean Proteins
We all need protein. If you’re going to get it from an animal source you should go for lean proteins like fish, eggs, chicken, and dairy. All of these kinds of protein contain phosphorous, which is really good for your teeth.
Phosphorus is actually responsible for helping calcium do its bone-strengthening work, making all of those protein sources great ways to be sure that the vitamin D in your food and drinks is working hard to protect your smile!
There are a lot of different benefits to eating leafy green foods like broccoli. They’re rich in fiber, calcium, and lots of other helpful vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain a healthy mouth. We singled out broccoli for its additional benefit: it’s high in vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a fundamental force in preventing and minimizing inflammation, which destroys your oral health in the form of gum disease.
A Balanced Diet Isn’t All
Eating well is inseparable from good oral health, and so are regular professional dental checkups. If you want to truly maintain a healthy mouth you have to see us for cleanings and exams on a regular basis. Most patients will be best served by an appointment every six months.
You also need to keep your teeth clean at home by brushing twice a day and flossing every evening. This, along with twice-yearly cleanings, will have your teeth in good shape for years to come.
Our Edgewood team loves being able to share our knowledge and passion for oral health with our patients, so never hesitate to ask us how you can improve your dental health. We’re always available with a call to 859-474-7830! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!