Yes, timely brushing and flossing help keep teeth and gums healthy but sometimes, these alone are not enough. Doubtlessly, life is not fair because sometimes we have to do away with those delicious treats that are just doing the exact opposite of what we want for our oral health. Surprising or not, the right choice of foods might just be what we need to lessen those frequent visits to your dentist. Fear not, for we have listed below helpful yet tasty picks to give a big boost to your oral health.
8 Teeth-Friendly Foods That Show Great Promise
1) Leafy Greens (Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli, Spinach)
Yes, they are superfoods and they are super for your teeth and gums too! While being very low in calories, most leafy greens are rich in folic acid and lots of other vitamins and minerals that both your teeth and gums love. No doubt they build healthy teeth enamel as they are also rich in calcium. The B vitamin folic acid may also help treat gum disease, especially in pregnant women. Now that is super!
Cheddar cheese has more powers than just making you happy. Cheese lowers the acid level in your oral cavity that plaque surely hates it for. Because of that, it rebuilds tooth enamel right on the spot. Moreover, it is a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and casein (protein) that all strengthens the enamel that helps stop tooth sensitivity. Another thing is hard cheeses increase saliva production which in turn washes off some of the bacteria in the mouth as you eat.
Of course, you cannot munch on yogurt but it is another dairy product that surely ticks more than one good box for your overall oral health. A Japanese study of 1,000 adults revealed that the healthiest gums were found in those that ate the most yogurt. Probiotics, the “good bacteria”, are the possible reason that slow the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. Always choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
4) Fish (Fatty Fish, Wild Salmon)
These protein-source meat are rich in minerals and vitamins like Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a must to keep your oral health as it is what allows you to absorb calcium. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation may lead to a 50 percent (%) drop in the incidence of tooth decay. This makes fish a necessary part of one’s diet for healthy teeth and gums.
Tea is another drink to keep your teeth and gums healthy! Compounds called polyphenols, found in black and green tea, have been best known to slow the growth of bacteria associated with demineralization, cavities, and gum disease. Know that demineralization begins with the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. They feed on the sugar and other carbohydrates existing in your mouth and subsequently, produce acids. These acids dissolve the crystals in your enamel. Now, it is found that some kinds of tea are rich in fluoride which greatly aids in the remineralization of the tooth enamel. A 2010 study in the Journal of Dental Research shows that tea, especially black tea, fights bad breath or what we call halitosis. Going back to compounds polyphenols, they suppress the genes of the bacteria that cause bad breath. Of course, adding sugar or even honey could ruin the party!
Remember the powers of hard cheeses? Milk is also rich in calcium and other important elements, so it neutralizes some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria, thus fight tooth decay. As published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, it is best to drink a glass of milk after eating a sweet dessert because this is when it lowers the levels of acid in the mouth and is found to be better than drinking water.
7) Cranberries (Fresh)
Polyphenols are plentiful in cranberries just as tea does that keeps plaque at bay, therefore lowering overall risk of cavities. Always choose the fresh ones that are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation. They are not only good to keep your teeth and gums healthy but research has also shown that the nutrients in cranberries can help slow tumor progression and fight cancer and may even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Surprisingly, strawberries contain malic acid, which is actually a good natural whitener for the tooth enamel. They are also packed with gum–building vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen which happens to be a key protein that maintains your gums’ strength and integrity.
The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums. If you have not done so yet, include these teeth-friendly foods in your next grocery list and start taking your oral health to the next level.