Eat Your Way to Healthier Teeth
We all know how important a healthy diet is, but there are particular healthy foods you can consume that can help keep your teeth nice and healthy, too!
Which Vitamins And Minerals To Look For
We all know how important fresh fruits and vegetables are to our diet. When you eat foods that are rich in vitamins, your body benefits from a whole range of tooth-healthy vitamins and minerals.
One of the vitamins your body thrives on is Vitamin A. Vitamin A can help build tooth enamel and promotes healthy gums. What foods are high in A? Look for carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes.
Another important vitamin is Vitamin C, which promotes good gum health, making it another healthy choice. Foods packed with Vitamin C include citrus fruits, like oranges, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Vitamin D is another great choice to add to your diet because it helps boost mineral density. Foods high in Vitamin D include dairy and some cereals.
Phosphorus is another mineral you should add to your diet because it helps promote strong teeth, so stock up on foods like eggs, lean meat, beans, dairy, and nuts.
Foods High In Calcium
We all know that calcium is good for the bones. Well, it’s also good for the enamel on your teeth! And which foods are high in calcium? The primary one is dairy! Any dairy items that are low in sugar (i.e., stay away from ice cream) and low-fat or no-fat and high in calcium are great for teeth (and your entire body).
So which high-calcium foods should you be snacking on? Cheese is a great teeth-healthy snack because it’s high in calcium, low in sugar, and also contains casein, which is a protein that can help build up the enamel on your teeth.
Yogurt is another great source of calcium, and also has probiotics, which helps with digestive health.
And don’t forget an old-fashioned glass of cold milk, which is another great source of calcium. In fact, did you know that milk (and cheese) can lower the acid levels in your mouth? See, there’s a reason they say milk does a body good!
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Any fruit or vegetable that is crunchy or fibrous in texture is perfect for tooth health because it requires a lot of chewing, which helps to sweep plaque away from the teeth and bacteria in the mouth.
The perfect vegetable snack is a carrot or celery stick. Those vegetables are known as nature’s toothbrush and nature’s dental floss, respectively. Celery is fibrous and its strands often mimic dental floss, helping to clean bacteria and plaque away from teeth. Carrots act as a toothbrush because they can often “brush” away other food particles that might be stuck in your teeth.
Apples and pears also make ideal healthy snacks, and dentists don’t mind them. Both fruits are naturally crunchy, which promotes chewing and the cleaning of the teeth and gums. These fruits also neutralize citric acid and promote the production of saliva, which helps wash away any bacteria in the mouth.
Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are packed full of vitamins and minerals, like calcium, making them a smart choice for rotation in your diet. The crunch of leafy greens is also good for cleaning your teeth and gums. As long as these vegetables stay raw, like in a sandwich or salad, the crunch of these vegetables helps promote healthy teeth.
Nuts of all types are not only great for your body, but for your oral health, as well. Nuts contain many different types of nutrients, like calcium and phosphorus, which help build up the enamel in teeth and can help fight off tooth decay.
While foods that are rich in carbohydrates can break down and stick to teeth (which can lead to cavities), whole grains are a dentist-friendly food! Whole-grain foods are loaded with complex carbohydrates, which bacteria don’t like –making them a good choice. Foods like brown rice, oatmeals, and whole wheat bread and pasta are smart food choices that dentists can get behind.
Healthy Recipe Suggestions
Now that you know which foods are not only good for your body, but your teeth, what types of meals do you make?
Oatmeal – Since oatmeal is a whole grain, it’s a mouth-friendly meal. Add in some nuts for extra vitamins and fruit for antioxidants to make the perfect breakfast.
Turkey Wrap – Using a whole wheat tortilla, add in some kale and low-fat cheese for a great lunchtime meal or snack.
Salmon – Salmon is considered a superfood because it is packed with vitamins and minerals, and there are hundreds of ways to make it! Add in some beans or lentils for phosphorus, some spinach or kale to crunch on, or some apple slices to serve on the sides.
Take care of your teeth with preventative care.
These are just some examples of the healthy things you can be eating to help promote healthy teeth and gums! If you ever have questions, reach out to Dr. Staley and his team to get them answered!