21 May The Top 7 Foods to Promote Dental Health
When most people think of dental health, they think of brushing and flossing. But one thing people don’t usually associate with healthy teeth is eating. In reality, eating the right foods can promote dental health. It can make all the difference in your fight against plaque and gum disease. Here are seven foods that can keep your mouth healthy.
Apples are hard and crunchy, and that’s one reason why they are one of the top foods for dental health. While brushing your teeth after meals can remove plaque build-up, eating apples can accomplish the same feat. Biting into an apple can remove build-up from sugary foods, which can prevent tooth decay. It scrubs your tongue and gums clean, which also can improve your breath. You might not always be able to brush your teeth after lunch, but eating an apple can effectively get the job done.
All crunchy foods, including apples, have an interesting effect on the mouth. Chewing makes your salivary glands produce saliva. Therefore, crunchy foods amp up your saliva production. And because saliva fights the bacteria in your mouth, eating crunchy foods is one effective way to dental health.
2. Dairy products
Cheese and yogurt are excellent choices for healthy teeth. The calcium in all dairy products builds up your teeth and keeps them from decaying. Aged cheese has an added ingredient that makes it even more of a powerhouse food- phosphorous. Phosphorous also strengthens your teeth, so eating cheese has a doubly strong impact.
One major player in tooth decay is acid. When plaque builds up, it produces acid as a byproduct. That acid eats away at your teeth. Before you know it, you have a cavity. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt balance the acidity of your mouth. In doing so, they limit damage to your teeth.
If you do eat yogurt to improve your dental health, be sure to stay away from artificial and sweetened yogurt. They counteract the benefits of dairy products due to their high sugar content. Stick to plain, full-fat yogurt and your teeth will thank you.
Kale is often associated with healthy bodies, but did you know that it’s also healthy for your teeth? Loaded with vitamins and minerals, kale can give your body what it needs to protect your teeth from decay. The calcium in kale, as well as its vitamins, keep your teeth strong enough to fight decay. Other leafy greens, like spinach, have a similar impact on your teeth.
Gum disease can be painful and dangerous. Fortunately, the Vitamin C in oranges can prevent gum disease. It limits the inflammation in your mouth and helps your body fight off bacteria.
It’s important to note that too much citrus is bad for your teeth. The acidity can weaken your teeth and lead to cavities. That said, eating a reasonable amount of oranges won’t hurt your teeth. In fact, it will only improve your dental health.
When your mother yelled at you to eat your vegetables, she was doing your teeth a favor. The iron in broccoli prevents acid from eating away at your teeth. It protects the enamel and prevents cavities. And, as an added benefit, eating broccoli whitens teeth. But that’s not all. Like apples, broccoli florets are crunchy. Chewing on them gets your saliva production up and fights bacteria in your mouth.
Other beneficial components of broccoli include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and calcium. So in addition to keeping your teeth white and strong, it can prevent gum disease.
6. Red Meat
Red meat, like steak, is an excellent source of protein and phosphorous. The phosphorous keeps your enamel strong and prevents tooth decay. All that chewing that a juicy steak involves also helps your teeth.
If you’re looking for a simple snack to improve your dental health, raisins are a great option. They contain phytochemicals (or antioxidants found in plants), which reduces the bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease or inflammation.
Other ways to improve your dental health
Eating healthy food isn’t the only way to achieve dental health. There are also several foods that you should avoid to keep your mouth healthy. Anything high in sugar content can feed the bacteria in your mouth. In addition to producing acid, the bacteria can multiply and do even more damage. So candy, chocolate, and sugary drinks are not good options for healthy teeth. Highly acidic foods can also do a great deal of damage.
Then, of course, there’s brushing and flossing. Both are critical components of healthy teeth and gums. Without proper brushing and flossing, the plaque can take over and cause cavities.
Even if you eat healthy foods, brush your teeth three times a day, and floss regularly, you should see a dentist. Going in for regular cleanings is another way to ensure that your teeth stay healthy.