Believe it or not, eating nutrient rich foods isn’t just great for your overall health and your waistline, it’s also beneficial in maintaining optimal oral health.
Incredibly, being selective about your diet can greatly help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. When you eat the right foods, typically with less refined sugars, your mouth will not create an environment in which bacteria can thrive.
Below we have detailed a number of foods and nutrients which can help your oral health in order to maintain a healthy and happy smile!
Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, and carrots are good for a number of reasons.
For one, the hard or stringy texture brushes away bacteria and plaque from your enamel. Obviously, it won’t replace brushing at least twice a day, but by incorporating these foods into your diet you can aid your oral health.
Additionally, since these fruits and vegetables also require a significant amount of chewing to break down for proper digestion, more saliva is produced as a result. Saliva has natural properties that break down plaque, helping to stop bacteria from causing decay.
Drink More Water
Water helps wash away sugars and bacteria in your mouth. It aids in saliva production, and we already know that saliva helps break down plaque.
In addition, when your body is dehydrated, you will produce less saliva. A dry mouth creates a better environment for bacteria to live. As if you needed more reasons to stay hydrated, it is also beneficial for your teeth and gums.
QUICK TIP: Drinking a glass of water after you finish a sugary beverage (soda, sports drinks, and energy drink, etc) can help lessen the amount of sugars that remain in your mouth, which is better for your overall oral health.
Some believe that drinking tap water, as opposed to bottled water, is also beneficial for strong teeth. Reason being, tap water often contains fluoride which helps prevent demineralization of your teeth.
While I’m sure we all recall our parents stressing the importance of drinking milk as a kid; the benefits of calcium don’t end once you’re an adult. In fact, a diet that is rich in calcium can help prevent tooth decay.
Individuals who don’t have enough calcium in their diet have shown to be twice as likely to develop gum disease too. Calcium is found in milk, cheese, certain types of fish, and other dairy products.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are high in calcium. Consuming foods rich in calcium can strengthen teeth (and bones), ensuring their solid structure and function.
Take Your Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a vital role in helping the body fight off infections. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that without enough vitamin C in your diet, you will be more likely to develop the gum disease or gingivitis. Simply eating one citrus fruit a day can help you achieve the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
The Other Side of the Coin
In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should avoid foods that are high in sugar. Some of the worst offenders are hard or gummy candies which can stick to and in between your teeth.
Sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc. are especially bad because along with a high sugar content, they also contain acids that break down your enamel.
Food for Thought
Keep in mind, even with the best of diets, it is vital for you to make sure to brush and floss your teeth daily. Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups twice a year will help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and the plaque stays in check.
If you’re from the Plainfield, Mooresville, Danville, or Martinsville area and need a dentist, get in touch with Monrovia Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment today.