DID YOU KNOW THESE DELICIOUS FOODS CAN ALSO HELP YOUR ORAL HEALTH?
Proper nutrition is a big part of keeping yourself healthy—which includes your teeth and gums! Here are some foods that help promote dental wellness.
Taking care of your teeth is a full-time job. Sure, brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are fundamental to maintaining proper oral health, but did you know that adding certain foods into your diet can also help to prevent tooth decay? Certain foods can help offer nutrients that promote healthier teeth, while others can help to reduce plaque and bacteria build-up in the mouth. Increased saliva production can also help to wash away any pesky food leftovers, which might cause tooth decay—and is an added benefit of many of the following choices.
YOUR DENTAL PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE THESE FOODS
The foods you eat—and don’t eat—can play a role in helping to keep your pearly whites happy and healthy. So be sure to add these foods to your upcoming grocery list! Don’t forget to follow these with a tall glass of fluoride-rich water.
Typically, sugar is not what you’ll hear your doctor recommend for dental health, but there are some exceptions. Apples, for example, are a great snack, since they help to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Because of this, dentists sometimes refer to them as “nature’s toothbrush.” Plus, celery is full of fiber and water and can help to promote saliva production in your mouth.
Cheddar lovers, rejoice! You don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying that extra slice of cheese (which goes great with a side of apples!). A 2013 study suggests that eating cheese can help to lower the pH of your mouth, helping to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Dairy products are high in calcium, which means stronger teeth and bones. Plus, the process of chewing cheese helps to promote saliva production, as well.
3. LEAFY GREENS
Veggies like kale and spinach are considered leafy greens which are excellent for not just your overall health but your oral health, as well. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and can make a great addition to any lunch, dinner, or smoothie. They also tend to be chewier than other foods and are chock-full of folate and calcium.
This vegetable is one you might not have expected to see on this list but definitely deserves a place. Onions are in many dishes, both raw and cooked, and they can help make a dish tastier and healthier. Since onions help to neutralize oral bacteria, they can help to keep decay at bay (though you might want to have some sugar-free gum handy afterward). Try incorporating onions as a topping for lunches like soups and salads or even on a burger or with a steak!
Like apples, raw carrots can act as a natural toothbrush and produce extra saliva in your mouth which can offer stain-fighting benefits again certain foods and drinks, like red wine or coffee. You can also enjoy them in a smoothie or cooked, as they are full of fiber and vitamin A, as well.
All sorts of nuts can be full of beneficial nutrients, like calcium and phosphorus, but at the top of the list are almonds. They can give you added protein and help to ward off bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Plus, they are low in sugar—which can be great for both your waistline and your tooth enamel—and go great as either a snack or topped on a salad!
Like cheese, yogurt provides added calcium to help your teeth stay stronger. The real advantage of yogurt, however, is their probiotics, which can be beneficial to your gums. Basically, this “good bacteria” helps to push out bacteria that can cause unwanted symptoms, like gingivitis and periodontitis.
8. MEAT, FISH, AND POULTRY
Protein-rich foods, such as meats, poultry, fish, and eggs offer some of the best sources of phosphorus. Depending on your unique diet and eating preferences, you can find a way to work these foods into your meal plan.
Despite being lower on the list, celery definitely deserves a place on this list. It’s often shunned for being watery or bland, but it makes for an excellent snack with great benefits to your oral health. Like apples and carrots, it can help to rid your enamel of plaque and provides a source of vitamins A and C. Plus, they are pretty tasty when combines with cream cheese or hummus!
10. SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
Surprised? Shiitake mushrooms are actually a great addition to your shopping list, albeit an unexpected one. They contain a nutrient called Lentinan, which has preventative health properties. This has been shown to enhance the immune system, as well as offer antibacterial properties that help prevent plaque from forming and fight against harmful bacteria. Try them in a stir-fry or on their own.
WE CARE ABOUT YOUR TEETH—AND WHAT YOU EAT
At Bela Family Dentistry of Florence, we offer full-scale, comprehensive dental health care. Our team understands that caring for your teeth and gums requires more than just brushing, and we work closely with our patients to help them recognize all the ways they can help keep gingivitis and tooth-related complications at bay. For some, this means incorporating more dental-friendly foods into their diet. Our office serves both returning and new patients who want to learn more about how their diet can affect their dental health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!