We all know that taking good care of our teeth by daily brushing and flossing is vital, but what about the foods that we put into our bodies? How do they play a role in our Oral Health? As it turns out, the foods that we choose to eat play a major role in our oral health. We can choose foods that are damaging to our teeth, such as sodas, sweets, sticky foods, or foods that are high in damaging acids. Or we can look for foods that are nourishing not only to our bodies, but keep our teeth healthy and strong as well! Luckily, there are lots of delicious foods that help us maintain good oral health! We’ve complied a mini-list of some easy to remember foods that help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape!
1. Low acid fruits
Some citrus fruits contain high levels of acid that can damage the enamel on your teeth. Though these fruits contain lots of vitamins and nutrients, it’s a good idea to limit their consumption, especially if you are experiencing any pain or sensitivity on the surface of the tooth. Note: citrus fruits are certainly healthy for you in moderation, as they contain lots of vitamin C, which is vital for a healthy body!
2. Drink lots of water
Keeping our mouths moist is important for our teeth. Saliva protects our teeth by disrupting the growth of bacteria on the teeth’s surface. Drinking plenty of water insures that the mouth is staying moist, while also washing away any micro-particles of food that have stayed behind after meals. Good oral health can be maintained by drinking lots of water, but don’t try to substitute water with sugary sodas or juices.
High fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and brown rice help increase the flow of saliva in our mouths. Saliva creates a natural mineral barrier around our teeth, preventing cavity-forming plaque to attach itself.
4. Calcium-Rich Foods
The growth and development of strong teeth starts young! Calcium is an absolute must to create the foundations of dental and good oral health. If you have strong teeth to begin with, this helps prevent problems as you age. Calcium is important for preventing tooth decay as well. Try dairy products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. Don’t like dairy products? No problem! Calcium is also found in many other foods such as kale, broccoli, almonds, and dried beans.
5. Eat Sweets—In Moderation!
It used to be that sweet treats were somewhat rare. A birthday cake, a pie at Thanksgiving—sugar was eaten, but it was not as
readily available as it is now. In fact, prior to the 1900s, Americans only consumed about 5 lbs of sugar a year! Compare that to the over 150 lbs, we now consume and you can understand why, despite our great advances in understanding Dentistry and good oral health, people are still suffering from dental problems. So enjoy your sweets—but try to limit them to celebrations or special occasions. And watch out for hidden sugars, such a high-fructose corn syrup, which can be found in everything from ketchup to bread!
Good oral health is easy to maintain with a healthy diet, regular brushing and flossing, and by visiting your Dentist every 6 months for exams and cleanings. Schedule an appointment today!