Most of us know that sugary foods like candy and soda can wreak havoc on our teeth and gums. Without proper dental hygiene, consumption of these foods can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. While each of us generally know what types of foods we should avoid or limit to protect our oral health, what are some foods that can actually help to improve the health of our mouths? Read on to discover the ten best foods you can consume to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
The Best Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums
There are a variety of foods you can consume to help protect against tooth decay and gum disease. A good rule of thumb is to add more foods to your diet that are either leafy greens, dairy products, or fibrous vegetables. These types of foods all promote good oral health. It is also essential to pay attention to what you’re drinking. Water is always best, both for your oral health and general wellbeing. Water offers a number of benefits including helping to reduce plaque and rinse away food debris. Your diet will always play a significant role when it comes to your smile, so make sure you are consuming the right types of foods. Check out the top ten foods for healthy teeth and gums below.
Cheese is already a food enjoyed by many, but now you can enjoy this tasty food knowing it’s bringing you oral health benefits as well. Eating cheese will actually raise the pH level of the mouth, lowering the overall risk of tooth decay. Cheese is also high in calcium and protein. Both of these nutrients help to strengthen tooth enamel. Remember, it’s best to stick with natural cheese as opposed to processed products like dips and sprays. Over consumption of processed cheese can actually have the opposite effect of natural cheese, leading to enamel breakdown and increasing the risk for cavities.
Consuming fish provides many health benefits. One benefit you might not already know about fish is that it actually helps to reduce the risk of periodontitis. The food is rich in Omega-3 fish oils and vitamin D, substances that have been shown to strengthen teeth and gums. Your body actually needs vitamin D to absorb all the benefits of calcium. So consuming fish actually helps strengthen your oral health in a variety of ways.
Yogurt is another food to enjoy that is high in calcium and protein. The nutrients of calcium and protein are great for oral health as they strengthen tooth enamel and protect the health of your teeth. Yogurt also contains probiotics or beneficial bacteria. Consuming these beneficial bacteria is excellent for your gums as the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. Keep in mind that the best yogurt to consume for oral health benefits is plain with no added sugar.
4. Leafy Greens
Kale, lettuce, and spinach are three of the top consumed leafy green products. Leafy greens are excellent foods to consume for oral health, as well as general wellness. They are full of vitamins and minerals, while also being a low-calorie option. The food is high in calcium, helping to build tooth enamel.
You’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, apples have also been bestowed the nickname, “nature’s toothbrush” too. Apples have gotten a good wrap for a reason. Along with the many health benefits they provide, apples stimulate the gums. This stimulation reduces the build-up of cavity-causing bacteria. Chewing apples also stimulate saliva flow. This saliva flow helps to decrease the acidity in your mouth and helps to wash away lingering food particles.
While citrus fruits often get a bad wrap when it comes to oral health, oranges are a citrus fruit that provides some significant benefits. The food is rich in vitamin C. The vitamin C in oranges helps to strengthen blood vessels and connective tissue. Ultimately, this slows down the progression of gum disease by reducing inflammation. In the end, citrus fruits might not deserve the bad wrap they get when it comes to oral health. However, do be sure to wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth after the consumption of citrus to avoid potential enamel damage.
Along with being a great source of fiber and vitamin A, carrots provide many oral health benefits as well. Eating carrots increases saliva production in your mouth. Increased saliva reduces your susceptibility to incurring tooth decay.
Celery is another food that acts a bit like a natural toothbrush as it scrapes food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. The high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C in celery also gives a health boost to your gums. Eating celery also forces your mouth to increase saliva production. This increased saliva helps to wash away any residue or acid build-up.
Another food rich in calcium and protein is almonds. The high levels of calcium and protein help to strengthen teeth and prevent future decay. The food is also low in sugar and provides a great snack option. Keep in mind that natural and unsalted almonds are always the best option for health considerations.
Strawberries are another great food to consume that provides many health benefits. The food is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. These properties help gums fight off inflammation-causing bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. This little fruit also contains malic acid, which actually helps to whiten teeth. Overall, strawberries are a tasty snack that provides many health benefits when consumed.
Schedule an Appointment Today
At Barron Family Dental, our caring staff creates a welcoming and family-oriented atmosphere. Whether you need a cleaning, whitening, or more serious dental work, we are here to help. Our staff can help you improve your smile and regain your confidence today. If you live in the Thornton, Colorado area, be sure to visit our website to learn more about the services we offer or contact us to schedule an appointment today. We can’t wait to hear from you!