We all know that too much sugar can lead to tooth decay and cavities. You may not realize, however, that starchy foods that are filled with carbohydrates can cause significant plaque buildup as well. If you want to start incorporating foods that benefit your oral health, read on to learn which ones are most highly recommended for improving your gums and strengthening your teeth.
Yogurt, cheese, milk, and other calcium-enriched foods are great additions to any diet. Not only do certain items contain valuable probiotics that help to keep your digestive system regular, but they also help to strengthen your tooth enamel. This is important, as this outermost layer is vulnerable to bad bacteria that might try to penetrate and cause cavities. When choosing which dairy products to incorporate, avoid those that contain sugary additives (i.e., flavored yogurt) and instead, opt for unsweetened varieties. You can also add natural, fresh fruit or honey for a bit of flavor.
Fruits and Vegetables
These are staples in any healthy diet but not just because they help to keep your waistline trim. They also serve as natural toothbrushes. Raw celery, carrots, and even apples can “brush” away food particles from the surfaces of your teeth while also keeping your salivary glands working at an optimal level. This is beneficial in flushing out anything that might try to negatively affect your teeth and gums (i.e., bacteria, harmful acids). Fruit and vegetables also contain lots of valuable vitamins and minerals, which can help to improve gum health.
The same can be said for leafy greens like spinach, kale, and various types of collards. Packed with many of the same vitamins and minerals, they can help fill you up without putting your oral health at risk.
Fish, turkey, lean meats, and even tofu contain beneficial proteins and phosphorus that helps to protect tooth enamel. You might even try incorporating healthy nuts like almonds, as they don’t contain lots of sugar but can be a filling snack or addition to any salad. Other good sources of lean proteins can include eggs, legumes, and beans.
Adopting a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet will not only serve you well when it comes to the health of your heart, brain, and gut, but it will also positively impact your teeth and gums. When shopping for groceries or looking through your cabinets to decide what to eat, commit to making healthy choices. Your mouth and body will thank you.
About the Authors
Dr. Thomas Meschke and Dr. Aaron Swingdorf are dentists in Chaska who want to help patients make positive, healthy choices that benefit their overall health and wellbeing. While practicing good oral hygiene at home is important, so is making well-informed choices as it pertains to the food we eat. If you need help to incorporate nutrient-rich foods that will fill you up and help safeguard your smile, contact us at (952) 448-4151.
We used the following sources to generate this particular blog article, some of which include: