Everyone knows that certain foods are not recommended by dentists, but a growing body of research is now finding that certain foods may be good for teeth, too.
Just as some foods may keep your heart healthy, others may promote oral health. It is no surprise that promoting oral health through diet also improves overall health, and here at Prevent Dental Suite we’d like to suggest a few foods to add to your diet, as well as a few foods to restrict.
Follow this advice and you can improve your dental, and your overall, health!
Put These Foods Down
First, let’s dispose of a few food and drink choices that should NOT be a substantial part of your diet. Bad food choices include the regular suspects. Don’t eat candy, cookies, cakes, pies, breads, muffins, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, bananas, raisins, and other dried fruits. These foods contain large levels of sugar and/or can stick to teeth, providing a fuel source for the bacteria that leads to plaque, tartar, and eventually decay and disease.
We’re not suggesting that you never eat these foods, but eat them in sensible portions, not regularly, and always brush your teeth shortly after you have eaten them.
Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks
The best food choices for the health of your mouth are foods thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralise teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
Other good choices include firm/crunchy fruits and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
Within these general principles, here are 10 foods that can kick your dental health up another notch.
Cheese. Cheese boosts dental health and restores enamel thanks to its high levels of calcium and whey protein. Stick to natural cheese as processed cheese products like dips and sprays can wear down enamel and increase your chance for cavities.
Milk. Another excellent dairy product. Milk helps build strong bones and can protect your tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorous needed to remineralise teeth.
Raw vegetables. Chewing raw vegetables like celery and carrots can help stimulate your gums and in turn maintain the health of your teeth. As an added bonus, carrots and celery also are sources of beta carotene, which the body needs to create Vitamin A, a key nutrient in building strong teeth.
Apples. Apples have been called “nature’s toothbrush”. They stimulate the gums and reduce the build-up of cavity-causing bacteria. Chewing an apple also stimulates saliva flow, which can help to decrease mouth acidity and wash away food particles.
Leafy greens. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale can promote oral health. Leafy greens are high in calcium, which helps build tooth enamel, and these greens contain folic acid, a B vitamin that has several health benefits and may even combat gum disease in pregnant women.
Fish. Omega-3 fish oils DHA and EPA reduce the risk of periodontitis. In addition, cold water fish such as tuna, trout and wild salmon are good sources of vitamin D and heart-healthy fats.
Nuts. Chewing on nuts can produce extra saliva, which helps to neutralise bacteria that causes cavities. A handful of almonds can provide you with plenty of calcium while walnuts contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, potassium and zinc, which are good for teeth.
Unsweetened cranberries. According to the BBC News, a compound in cranberries can stop bacteria from clinging to the teeth and block formation of plaque deposits.
Raisins. Certain phytochemicals in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that causes cavities and gum disease.
Black and green tea. Black and green teas are rich in polyphenols, which can help slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. Polyphenols in black tea can also help fight bad breath.
The best beverage choices include water and milk. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar.
High-Quality Dental Care At Prevent Dental Suite
Prevent Dental Suite is comprised of dedicated dental professionals who provide gentle and patient-oriented care to offer the best-quality dental service from the moment patients come into our office. Dr. Shilpa Gupta is the principal dentist at our Kallangur clinic, and combines many years’ experience with personable service. To learn more about our amazing team, go to our team page.
We offer dental services to Kallangur, Warner, Murrumba Downs, North Lakes, Petrie, Strathpine, Griffin, Mango Hill, Lawton and all surrounding areas in Brisbane Northside.