Many people know that some foods are bad for their teeth, but did you know that some others are actually beneficial for your teeth? By including these foods in your diet, you can support your dental health and help prevent expensive dental work in the future.
It might seem to you that your teeth don’t need nutrition, but they definitely do. Your teeth are honeycombed with tiny channels and receive a constant wash of nutrients. The better your balance of nutrients and the more you skip foods that are damaging, the healthier your teeth will be over the course of your life. Healthier teeth are more capable of resisting decay and other damage.
The good thing is that most of these beneficial foods are popular and readily available.
Calcium-Rich Dairy Foods
Dairy foods contain high levels of calcium and protein, so if they agree with you in other ways, include plenty of foods like cheese and yogurt in your diet. In addition to calcium and protein, cheese also improves the acid-alkaline balance in your mouth which helps keep down the growth of plaque-creating bacteria. There’s even some research showing that the proteins in milk help restore minerals that might have been lost through consumption of acidic foods or the presence of plaque. Hard, aged cheeses tend to be more beneficial than soft cheeses.
Yogurt likewise contains calcium and protein, but it has another beneficial characteristic—the beneficial bacteria found in cultured products. These bacteria your body needs tend to crowd out damaging bacteria in your mouth. Unsweetened, plain yogurt is the best choice.
Strawberries are so good for teeth that some people use them to make a natural enamel whitener. Crush a strawberry, mix it with baking soda and spread the paste on your teeth with a soft toothbrush. Wait five minutes, brush off the paste, rinse and your teeth will shine. It’s the malic acid in the berry that whitens.
Cranberries can also help preserve your smile because they contain polyphenols, protective plant-based antioxidants. But because cranberries are tart, they are often mixed with sugar which doesn’t help your dental health. Look for unsweetened dried cranberries that you can snack on or add to a salad.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Crunchy fruits and vegetables not only contain plenty of nutrients, they also produce lots of saliva as they are chewed. This constant flow of saliva bathes the teeth and entire mouth, washing away bacteria. Raw celery, apples, pears, cucumbers and carrots fit into this category so keep a supply of these foods available for snacking.
Most people know that fresh greens are good for their overall health but they may have a hard time adding them to their daily diet. A protein shake with a handful of spinach leaves or kale works for most people, even those who don’t like salads. Snacking on raw broccoli also offers benefits—just minimize indulgence in high-calorie dips.
Nuts are another protein-rich food that supports your dental health. Along with having calcium and protein, nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, also help fight unhealthy oral bacteria.
The foods you eat are only part of the solution for preserving your oral health. It’s essential that you see your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. That’s how you can prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
If you’re behind on your dental health maintenance, call StarBrite Dental , the Office of Dr. Maryam Seifi , to bring everything up to date. You can reach our Rockville, Maryland office by calling 301-770-1070 today. Of course, we can also help you with any restorations you need, such as fillings, crowns, root canals and many other services. Our goal is to help you regain your oral health and keep it that way.