Eating Well: The Best Foods for Your Teeth
When we think about dental health, brushing, flossing and going to the dentist often come to mind. While these items certainly play a role in maintaining a healthy smile, we are still leaving one factor out: food.
Does food impact dental health?
The foods we consume significantly influence our oral health, and we should take time to monitor our food decisions, especially if we are prone to developing teeth problems. If your diet is low in the nutrients your body needs, you may have a higher risk of getting an infection in your mouth. Poor diets can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
The Best Foods to Promote Oral Health
If there was ever a food that required extra amounts of chewing, it’s celery. But, the extra chewy nature of this vegetable causes our mouth to produce additional amounts of saliva, which helps to neutralize the cavity causing bacteria in our mouth. The abrasiveness of this vegetable also helps to clean our gums and teeth while we are chewing on it.
Not only is cheese low in carbohydrates, it is high in calcium and phosphate, which help balance your mouth’s pH due to their low acidity. Cheese also helps to protect and rebuild tooth enamel in addition to producing extra saliva in your mouth, which is great for removing bacteria from your teeth. Other dairy products including milk and plain yogurt also share these benefits.
These highly pungent vegetables contain antibacterial sulfur compounds that are noted for killing different types of bacteria. Onions offer the most bacteria fighting power when they are eaten raw; however, eating them when cooked still offers dental health benefits.
Foods with fluoride
Drinking fluoridated water is not the only way you can obtain the necessary amounts of fluoride for your teeth. There are many products that you can make with fluoridated water that will still give you fluoride benefits. Powered cereals and dehydrated soups are easy products that when combined with fluoridated water can offer extra protection for your teeth. Some poultry products and seafood may also contain fluoride.
Kiwis offer the most vitamin C for just about any another other fruit their size. Research has shown that if you don’t get enough vitamin C in your diet, then the collagen in your gums will become weak, making your gum line more vulnerable to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. If you’re not a fan of kiwis, you can opt for another vitamin C-packed fruit such as oranges.
It’s important to keep in mind that moderation is key when selecting which foods to eat and how often to eat them. Consuming the food mentioned in this article will help your mouth stay healthy but you also have to cut out any foods you eat that contain high amounts of sugar or acid to keep the momentum going. Junky foods can produce more bacteria in your mouth. Consistently making these decisions will help you maintain a healthy smile for years to come. And, after all, when it comes to maintaining optimum dental health, every little bit helps.
What do you find most difficult about incorporating healthy foods such as these into your diet? Do you routinely think about how the foods you consume affect your teeth? We’d love your feedback! Patrick Toms DMD is a sedation dentist in Gainesville, GA that serves patients throughout North Georgia by offering them general, pediatric, sedation, implant and cosmetic dentistry services. Contact us today to learn more about how you can impact your health through your diet.