You’ve heard the old adage: “You are what you eat.” And it’s true! It makes sense, what you eat fuels your body. It builds the cells throughout every body part, and your teeth are no exception. That’s why it’s important to consider your oral health as well as your whole body health when you choose your diet. That’s why we’re taking some time today, as part of our dental blog, to offer up some of the best foods that you can consume to keep your teeth (or chompers as I like to call them) healthy! Follow along!
Leafy greens are packed with powerful vitamins and nutrients that are vital for maintaining the vitality of your teeth. If your diet is lacking in calcium or folic acid – two ingredients essential for healthy teeth – you can count on leafy greens to up your levels. Reach for greens like kale, baby spinach, romaine, and others to ensure that your teeth are getting the nutrients that they need from the inside out.
Cheese, Yogurt, and Dairy
We all know that dairy products have calcium, and that’s certainly why they’re excellent for our teeth! Dairy products are also packed with protein; protein compounds aren’t just essential for building muscle, they’re crucial for building and maintaining your chompers! Cheese is especially beneficial, because it can boost the production of saliva in your mouth, which protects your teeth from damage. Yogurt, too, has a unique benefit: The natural bacteria in yogurt can counteract the bad bacteria that creates plaque around your teeth.
If you’re lactose intolerant, don’t sweat. There are plenty of food options that aid your oral health. In fact, the aforementioned leafy greens can be just as potent if you’re looking for a calcium source, and they’re packed with protein!
Carrots & Celery
Carrots and celery naturally cleanse your teeth. These crisp snacks are watery and fibrous, which is good news for your teeth. So consuming a few of these healthy snacks will aid you in removing food debris that’s liable to stick around and cause plaque buildup.
Almonds are low in sugar, yet high in calcium and protein, which, as we pointed out before, is good for your teeth. Grab a handful of almonds with a meal to keep your chompers happy and healthy.
Meat, Eggs, & Fish
Meats are protein packed, and that’s ideal for your tooth health. Fish are especially healthy because they contain high amounts of vitamin D, which is a building block for healthy bones (and teeth). So if you have more carnivorous tendencies, rejoice! If you’re vegetarian, you may have to reach for those leafy greens once again.
OK, water isn’t a food, but it’s super helpful for your teeth. Water keeps your gums, the pulp of your teeth, and your teeth themselves healthy. Water aids blood and nutrient flow to the tooth pulp (the fleshy core of a tooth), thus supporting tooth growth. In addition, water keeps gums healthy in the same manner. Beyond that, drinking plenty of water helps the body to produce saliva. Saliva helps the mouth to mitigate plaque-causing bacteria. Our saliva has enzymes that keep bacteria at bay.
OK, again, gum isn’t a food, but sugar-free gum does offer up some benefits for your oral health. As you chew gum, you trigger your body to produce extra saliva, which, in turn, keeps your mouth free from plaque. In addition, gum clears away food debris, and it can be especially helpful after a meal. Steer clear of sugary gums, however, since they can actually damage your teeth. Since bacteria thrives off of sugar, sugary gums can actually cause more plaque buildup on your teeth.