Want to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Eat right.
While flossing and brushing play a vital role in your daily oral hygiene routine, so does your daily diet. What you eat can definitely help you protect your teeth, as well as promote a shinier, cavity free smile.
6 Tooth Friendly Foods
Try adding some of these foods into your daily diet to keep your teeth and gums healthy (and happy!).
Foods That Promote Saliva – Your mouth’s saliva is an unsung super-hero that works overtime to fight cavities and gum disease. Keeping your saliva flowing is your best natural defense. It keeps your mouth clean and flushes out cavity causing bacteria. How? About 20 minutes after you eat something that has sugars or starches, your saliva reduces the effects of the acids and enzymes attacking your teeth. Because your saliva contains traces of calcium and phosphate. it also restores minerals to areas of your teeth that need a boost from the bacterial acids attacks. Certain foods you eat will aid and fuel your saliva’s efforts to keep a clean mouth. Foods that are high in fiber are, like snap peas and celery, work wonders, as do other crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples or carrots.
Low-Fat Dairy – Foods like cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products offer a number of benefits for your oral health. Not only does cheese promote saliva, but it offers calcium, which helps maintain good, strong tooth enamel. The calcium and phosphates in milk and other dairy products also help restore minerals your teeth lose when you eat certain foods.
Nuts – They offer quite a few healthy benefits for your teeth, as they contain calcium and phosphorus. Especially beneficial are almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, which also help fight against the pesky bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Peanuts offer the perfect combination of calcium and vitamin D. And what’s the big deal about vitamin D? While calcium strengthens and protects the enamel of your teeth (it’s also good for your gums), your body can’t absorb it properly without a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Walnuts also offer a lot of benefits, as they’re high in fiber, and provide folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc.
Fatty Fish – Fish like wild/farmed salmon, or sardines offer a great source for vitamin D, and their Omega 3 fats can help reduce oral inflammations and infections related to gum disease, which could also help lower your risk of heart disease.
Green & Black Tea – A cup of tea (without sugar) after a meal can help prevent of cavities. Why? Green and Black teas not only contain fluoride, which helps ward off tooth decay, but they also contain a natural plant compound called polyphenols. These polyphenols from your tea work to reduce the bacteria in your mouth after you eat a meal.
Dark Chocolate – Here’s an item on the list that many of us wouldn’t mind adding to our daily diet, but don’t overdo it. Dark chocolate contains the compound CBH, which can help harden your tooth enamel . And the properties found in dark chocolate have shown to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Sounds good, but hat about the sugar in it? While your mouth generally turns sugars in the foods you consume into acids that can eat away at your tooth’s enamel and create cavities, the antibacterial components in cacao bean actually counter these sugars. For best results, consume dark chocolate with 75% cacao content or higher, and with less than 8 gram of sugar per serving. One to two ounces is a recommended daily dose.
Adding a few of these foods into your daily diet will compliment your home oral hygiene efforts to keep your smile, teeth and gums healthy.
And if you plan on eating more dark chocolate now, please note that this doesn’t mean you can skip your dental exams and teeth cleanings! If you haven’t seen a dentist for a while, please call us at (206) 242-0066 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.
Healthy teeth, healthy life.