Have you ever thought about the fact that what you eat, could make a difference in how you eat? In other words, do you realize how important your diet is to your overall dental health? And while you may be aware of some of the foods that aren’t so great for your teeth, do you know which foods are?
Here’s a reason to feel good about indulging in a slice of pizza. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, cheese is a great choice for maintaining healthy teeth. Not only does it help to prevent cavities, but – because it’s an excellent source of protein and calcium – it’s also a delicious way to strengthen your tooth enamel.
Next time you’re enjoying some sesame seeds – either on their own, as a topping, or baked into bread – know that you are also giving your teeth a treat. That’s because, in addition to being a great source of calcium, sesame seeds are also like nature’s super tiny toothbrushes, scrubbing away plaque from your teeth as you chew.
Apples not only keep the doctor away, they may also keep your dentist happy. That’s because these excellent sources of fiber are also super chewy plaque fighters. Plus, eating apples causes you to produce saliva, which can help to wash away acid, bacteria and food particles that accumulate in your mouth. Furthermore, apples are also full of all sorts of natural vitamins that are great for more than just your dental health.
Meat and Poultry
Protein-rich foods like meat and poultry are a good source of phosphorus. This is important for dental health, as it plays a big role in protecting and rebuilding your tooth enamel.
Yogurt is another protein powerhouse, as well as a source for casein and calcium. It also contains probiotics, which is good news for your gums (as it helps to reduce the level of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth). To get the healthiest bang for your buck, make sure you choose unsweetened, natural yogurt, as opposed to those with lots of added sugar.
Containing malic acid – a natural tooth-whitener – strawberries can help you to keep your teeth bright, white and free of stains.
Like apples, celery’s crunch packs a punch, scraping away bacteria and food particles from your teeth. Its reputation as a virtual toothbrush makes it a smart snack for between meals. It’s also a strong source of vitamin A and vitamin C, two things which are important for healthy gums.
Leafy Green Vegetables
So apparently, Popeye knew what he was talking about with the spinach. Leafy green vegetables (including kale, broccoli, cauliflower and others) are high in calcium, vitamins and minerals -- all noticeably beneficial to your oral health. In fact, in a recent study regarding the eating habits of elderly Japanese people, there was a positive correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and oral health-related quality of life, indicating that leafy vegetables are a great addition to your diet.
Containing lots of fiber, carrots can aid in the production of saliva, reducing acid levels as well as your risk of developing cavities. They’re also a fantastic source of vitamin C, which makes them an ideal choice for a quick snack after lunch.
As a source of protein and calcium, almonds are remarkably good. By adding just a few almonds to a salad or as a side dish with your lunch, you can strengthen your tooth’s enamel and keep your teeth strong.
Okay, so while it won’t do your breath any favors, raw onion is a surprising addition to the list. That’s because the sulphur compounds found in onions are real bacteria-slayers. But remember, you’re only able to get the full effect from onions if you eat them raw. So you may not want to try this one on your next date or anything.
Although it’s not technically a food, chewing gum (the sugarless variety) speeds up your saliva production and helps to wash away the harmful acid that can wear down your teeth. This might be a good one to take advantage of after the raw onions!
Hopefully this has given you some helpful food for thought, so that the next time you reach for a snack, you’ll consider what your teeth may be craving as well – and that is healthy, dental-friendly foods.