You probably already know that eating too many sweets can damage your teeth, but did you also know some foods can improve your dental health? Adequate nutrition is crucial in disease prevention. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in whole foods can also strengthen your immunity and body’s ability to fight off bacteria and inflammation. Some foods even offer unique benefits for the mouth. Incorporate some of these mouth-healthy foods into your diet to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Dairy products are an important part of a balanced diet and essential for bone health. Cheese, in particular, has been found to reduce the formation of cavities by neutralizing acids in the mouth. Cheese also creates a thin film on the teeth which helps protect against dental erosion. Eating cheese increases the amount of saliva in the mouth which creates a healthy pH level. A higher pH level on tooth surfaces results in a reduction in tooth decay.
Nuts such as almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, all essential nutrients for good dental health. Other nut varieties such as peanuts offer vitamin D, and walnuts provide the teeth with a healthy boost of folic acid, fiber, and iron. Options like cashews help to stimulate saliva and clean teeth.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, kale, cabbage, chard, and collard greens provide the body with a plethora of vitamins and minerals needed for overall health. Their high vitamin C content boosts the production of red blood cells which reduces inflammation, helping you fight the battle against gum disease. As leafy greens contain large amounts of fiber, they require more chewing which stimulates saliva production.
An apple acts as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing your teeth, gums, and tongue clean thanks to the fruit’s skin and fleshy fiber. When you chew an apple, it rubs against the tooth surface helping to fight plaque and remove stains. Apples can also diminish bad breath by removing residue from the back of the tongue. The acidic nature of an apple helps remove bad bacteria in the mouth.
Eating a diet rich in fish is great for your teeth. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help prevent gum disease and promote strong teeth. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and salmon are also good sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is essential for bone health. Insufficient levels of vitamin D can lead to dry mouth, a major contributor to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Crisp, raw vegetables like carrots help remove plaque from the teeth and freshen breath. The extra chewing that carrots require produces enough saliva to neutralize the bacteria that causes cavities. Fresh carrots are also naturally-abrasive, cleaning your teeth as you’re chomping away.
The foods you eat have a direct correlation to the health of your teeth and gums. Of course, proper oral hygiene is also essential for maintaining your teeth long-term. Talk to your dentist today to see how you can enhance your smile.