Good dental health is not only a matter of brushing, flossing and regular dental visits, it can also be affected by the foods you eat.
We’ve all heard that sugar ad sugary foods are bad for your teeth, but so are a lot of other foods, like those high in acids.
On the other hand, there are a number of foods that can actually improve your diet and the health of your mouth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the following foods should make an appearance in your mouth-healthy diet. Here are some must-haves for good dental health:
The Best Foods for Your Tooth Health
Eating cheese actually raises the Ph level in your mouth, which can help lower the risk of getting tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese also increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Cheese contains protein and calcium, which help strengthen tooth enamel.
Also high in protein and calcium, yogurt also adds probiotics, or beneficial bacteria that help push out harmful bacteria from your mouth. Check the sugar content, however, in your yogurt. Some brands have high sugar quantities.
Celery acts as a toothbrush, with its fibrous surface scraping away food particles and bacteria. Although it may be bland and watery, it adds essential Vitamins A and C, valuable antioxidants that can boost gum health.
Carrots, when eaten raw at the end of the meal, increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which naturally cleanses it of bacteria. They are also high in Vitamin A. Keep a supply of raw vegetables handy.
You won’t find any healthy diet that doesn’t include a hearty amount of leafy greens. Kale and spinach promote oral health by providing calcium, which can boost your teeth’s enamel. They also offer folic acid, a B-vitamin that can possibly treat gum disease in pregnant women. The extra benefit is that they are low in calories.
Most fruits contain high levels of sugar, so they are to be avoided or limited. But apples are high in fiber and water which can help produce saliva and stimulate the gums. Eaten at the end of the meal, their fibrous surface can help scrub teeth similar to a toothbrush.
A handful of almonds can serve as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or be tossed into a stir fry for a delicious way to add calcium and protein to your diet.
Water is always the best choice for a beverage since it is void of calories or sugar. Rinse your mouth with water after a meal to help wash away bacteria, and hydrate well throughout the day to keep your mouth moist.
Green tea is recommended to make your mouth more alkaline, which helps reduce inflammation and inhibit bacteria growth.
The Worst Foods for Your Tooth Health
• Sugar and high-in-simple-sugar foods
• Processed foods
• Hard foods like peanut brittle or hard candy
• Citrus like limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit
• Dried fruit
Teeth and Food: Dr. Choi’s Two Favorite Things
There are two things that Dr. Eddie Choi at EverSmile Dentistry loves to talk about. One is teeth, but the other is food. He loves to hear about a great recipe or a new restaurant. Combining his two passions, he can probably talk all day about the right foods to eat for good dental health. Just ask him and see.
Schedule Your Appointment with EverSmile Dentistry
Set your next dental appointment with EverSmile Dentistry, your Reston, Virginia family dentist. Contact us today.