You brush, floss and use mouthwash daily. But, did you know your dental health also has a lot to do with your kitchen? That’s right. The food you eat can make or break your dental health, so choose your meals and snacks wisely. Here’s a brief overview of some of the foods and nutrients that can help to boost the health of your teeth and gums.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Popeye was on the right track in encouraging everyone to eat spinach, it helps the whole body including the teeth. The calcium and minerals in spinach are so beneficial. Other greens like kale, chard and collard greens can also prove beneficial for teeth because of their vitamin and mineral content, such as folic acid and calcium. Enjoy greens lightly steamed or raw in smoothies.
Their bright orange color gives a clue that they are good for your teeth. That’s because orange vegetables and fruits are high in vitamin A, and vitamin A is beneficial for teeth. In addition, raw carrots are crunchy and contain fiber. Crunchy raw fruits and vegetables are just abrasive enough to whisk food particles away from teeth. Carrots are so versatile that you can enjoy them in many ways, such as in salads or by themselves along with a little almond butter.
An apple a day is not only delicious but also nutritious. And, like raw carrots, raw apples can remove food particles from teeth and can help your mouth produce saliva, which washes away bacteria in your mouth. Those particles could otherwise lead to tooth decay. And the fiber in apples is great for your gums. Eating raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, can produce similar benefits to tooth brushing.
Celery is another vegetable that is great to eat raw because of its ability to gently, yet effectively, scrape small pieces of food and particles of bacteria away from your teeth. The vitamin A and C in celery also help your gums. Enjoy celery sticks as snacks or in big green tossed salads.
Milk and other dairy products can be wonderful additions to your diet as partners in dental health. It’s the calcium and protein in dairy that are so great for teeth. So incorporate into your diet milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese and other dairy products. If you cannot tolerate dairy because of allergies and sensitivities, try a beverage like almond milk, which typically has calcium added.
While you’re making sure to include tooth-boosting foods, be careful to avoid the foods that harm dental health, such as sugars, simple carbohydrates, and starches. Also avoid drinks that contain sugar, such as sodas and fruit juices. The best drink is water.
If you need help deciding which foods to eat that will be beneficial, not harmful, to your teeth and gums, give us a call or email us. Ghada S. Massabni, DMD, DDS in Woburn, MA is happy to answer your questions and provide a consultation.