Eat Your Way to a Healthy Mouth
Excellent dental health is a top priority for many people, but most of them do not know that a crucial part of oral hygiene can be in their own refrigerator or pantry. Simple sugars found in cookies or candies are well-known sources of acids that can attack the teeth and cause decay and cavities. Less well-known is the wide variety of foods that can reduce the risk of tooth decay, freshen breath, and even whiten teeth.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list for good dental health. Celery can be considered nature’s floss, and it is a naturally abrasive food that can clean the teeth while you chew it. Along with apples and carrots, noshing on celery also increases the production of saliva, which washes the teeth and decreases the number of harmful bacteria.
Kiwis and oranges are packed with vitamin C, which is essential for good gum health. Strawberries are also high in vitamin C, and they contain malic acid, a compound that may whiten teeth naturally.
Leafy green like spinach, broccoli, and kale are full of folic acid, calcium, and other nutrients that promote healthy gums and teeth. Fresh cranberries contain polyphenols that can prevent plaque formation and reduce the risk of cavities.
Onions are most potent raw, and they have sulfur compounds that fight against bacteria in the mouth. Pears naturally fight against acid build-up in the mouth. Finally, sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A, which offers excellent support for healthy teeth and gums.
Dairy products are naturally high in calcium and phosphorous to strengthen tooth enamel, fight off bacteria, and decrease acid in the mouth. Dairy items that are good for oral health include cheese, milk, and yogurt. Additionally, the probiotics in yogurt may improve bad breath.
Meat and fish may play a role in good dental hygiene. Fatty fish, salmon, and tuna are high in nutrients and vitamin D, which helps the body to absorb calcium. Red meat and organ meats are also full of nutrients essential for dental health.
Many items found in your pantry can help you create a happy mouth. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, and their rough edges can scrape plaque off of teeth. Shiitake mushrooms have lentinan, which is a substance that prevents plaque build-up. Raisins may suppress the bacteria that cause cavities. Whole grains reduce the risk of gingivitis. Ginger can improve breath and prevent bacterial growth. Garlic is known for its antimicrobial properties thus reducing the risk of cavities. Chewing sugar-free gum can increase saliva production and wash bacteria off of the teeth.
What you drink can significantly improve your oral health. Green and black teas contain polyphenols, known to diminish the number of bacteria found in the mouth. Black coffee may prevent plaque, and red wine may exhibit antimicrobial properties in the mouth. The most important beverage is water since it promotes saliva, which is the best defense for a healthy mouth.
Beyond a Healthy Dental Diet
Eating these foods can boast your dental health, but sometimes your teeth need more than a healthy diet. When you need quality orthodontics from an experienced orthodontist, come visit Dr. Foley and his amazing team at their London Ontario office.