Spring is a time when everything starts fresh again, and it’s the perfect season to take charge of your dental health by incorporating fresh spring produce. Your diet is a critical element in dental health and eating foods in season, instead of pre-packaged, processed items goes a long way toward healthy teeth, gums, and body. Even if you practice excellent oral hygiene daily, if you’re not eating right, your teeth and gums may not be as healthy as you hope. Teeth need minerals in healthy foods to keep the jawbone and enamel strong and durable. Gums need the vitamins in healthy food to remain healthy, pink and free of gum disease. Indulge in the seasonal treats of spring and your teeth and gums will thank you.
The Power of Greens
Although leafy greens are usually available year round, in the spring you have the opportunity to buy locally grown produce so you know exactly what you’re eating. Greens are full of water and eating them stimulates saliva production while promoting a healthy system. Leafy greens are also packed with minerals and vitamins necessary for the best oral health. If you’re not a fan of lettuce, you can try other greens such as:
- Watercress – excellent source of thiamine, B6 and vitamins A, C, K and E
- Arugula – full of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus
- Collard greens – full of potassium, thiamine, phosphorus, folate and vitamins A, B6, C and K
- Rainbow chard – great source of fiber and contains vitamins A and K that some studies suggest can prevent or reduce tooth decay
Even if you don’t have much room, you can grow herbs at home or find fresh ones and local farm markets in the spring. Herbs are an essential ingredient in a variety of dishes and a helpful addition to salad dressings and soups. Herbs do much more than flavor foods though as they offer several benefits to your health.
- Parsley – contains high levels of vitamins A, C and K along with iron and folate
- Oregano – high levels of vitamin K
- Sage – contains double the amount of vitamin K found in oregano
- Rosemary – possesses anti-inflammatory compounds, improves circulation
Herbs have had a place in oral health for centuries because of their ability to interact with the body’s chemical receptors to treat and prevent dental issues and gum disease. When you’re considering using herbs for more than just food flavoring and want to incorporate them into your dental care regimen, it’s important to consult with your dentist and an herbalist to avoid any harmful side effects.
Embrace the freshly grown produce of spring to improve your dental and overall health and maintain or improve your smile with dental services from Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics.