The foods and beverages we consume can have a major impact on our oral health. While many patients know to avoid sticky candy, sugary beverages, and processed foods, fewer are aware of the foods that are good for your teeth and gums. To improve your oral health and overall health, incorporate these ten foods into your diet.
- Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which strengthens the blood vessels and connective tissues in your gums. This fruit also contains an enzyme that helps whiten your smile without harming your enamel.
- Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that protect your teeth from tooth decay. Superfoods such as spinach, kale, and arugula help fortify your enamel and provide a barrier against bacterial acids.
- Nuts are low in carbohydrates and high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, phosphorus, and calcium. The crunch of the nuts in your mouth stimulates saliva production, which helps flush out bacteria and plaque that cause tooth decay.
- Celery is often referred to as nature’s toothbrush and is highly effective at cleaning your teeth and stimulating your gums. Chewing on a stalk of celery can help prevent tooth decay by neutralizing enamel-eroding acids in your mouth.
- Apples – Similar to other raw vegetables and fruits, apples contain antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that protect your gums from bacterial infection. Apples are also a useful food for cleaning your teeth because they stimulate saliva flow.
- Carrots – This bright, cavity-fighting vegetable is chock full of Vitamin A and keratin to strengthen your teeth from the inside out. The antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients in carrots also protect your gums from cell damage and infection.
- Yogurt is a superfood for your teeth. Rich in calcium and probiotics, yogurt helps keep your teeth and bones strong while fighting off cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
- Cheese – Dairy products are low in sugar and high in phosphate and calcium, which naturally strengthen your teeth and bones. Cheese also helps balance the pH level in your mouth, resulting in fewer cavities.
- Salmon – The Vitamin D in salmon enables your body to absorb more calcium, a cavity-fighting nutrient that protects the hard outer shell of your tooth. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to prevent periodontal disease.
- Dark Chocolate is rich in calcium and a compound called CBH, which helps harden your tooth enamel. Dark chocolate is also effective at fighting cavities and preventing tooth decay because it contains bacteria-inhibiting polyphenols.
The foods you eat can greatly affect your dental health. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential to ensuring your smile stays healthy and bright for life. If you have any questions about the link between your diet and dental health, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she can educate you on the best diet and treatment options for your smile.