We know that sugary and acidic foods and beverages that are not the best foods to eat for healthy teeth, but increase the likelihood of cavities and decay. There are, however, many things to eat and drink that are good for the teeth, and can ease the mind from having to worry about a lecture from the dentist. Here’s a list of common food and drinks that are not only delicious, but also beneficial to your oral health.
The following five items are common foods to eat for healthy teeth, and don’t require a radical change in diet:
Cheese is low in carbs and high in calcium and phosphate, which has a low acidity. This helps to keep the mouth’s pH in balance, which is needed to maintain an environment of healthy bacteria. Consuming cheese also produces extra saliva that kills excess bacteria that forms plaque. The calcium in cheese helps to protect and rebuild tooth enamel.
Celery can be annoying to eat because it takes so long to chew! The upside is this, chewing longer causes increased saliva production. Saliva is the body’s natural defense against Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that cause plaque, and is an important defense in cavity prevention. The texture of celery also assists in cleaning the gums and teeth while being chewed.
Salmon is highly praised for its high content of Omega-3 oils, which prevent inflammation in the gums that can lead to periodontal disease. Omega-3 has been found to have strong anti-bacterial effects against oral pathogens including S. mutans.
Onions contain sulfur compounds that are antibacterial. The effects are most prominent when eaten raw; however, cooked onions can still have some dental benefits.
Vitamin-C Packed Fruits
Vitamin-C plays a key role in the build-up of collagen in your gums, thus strengthening their defense against bacteria. Fruits like kiwis and oranges are packed with vitamin-C. Collagen-strong gums are less likely to be infected by periodontal disease.
Most tap water contains added fluoride, which prevents the development of cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. Dentists commonly offer fluoride treatments at regular cleanings and exams. Drinking tap water is a free and simple way to get daily doses of fluoride and nourish your teeth. Bottled waters are often non-fluoridated, but any water is still preferable to soft drinks and sugary juices.
It’s common knowledge that consuming calcium and vitamin D in milk leads to the development of strong bones. This is also true with your teeth. Calcium strengthens your teeth, and vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium.
In addition to their antioxidant content, black teas have also been found by scientists to contain compounds that kill bacterial growth by suppressing the acid production of cavity causing bacteria. Black teas are often enjoyed with milk and sugar added. Be careful of the amount of sugar used, as too much increases bacterial growth- canceling out the process.
Regardless of what you eat or drink, the best way to maintain oral health is to continue a daily brushing and flossing routine, and to attend regular dental exams. Healthier eating and drinking habits are not an alternative to proper dental care but is an extra measure that ensures a healthier smile and a healthier you.