It’s rather unfortunate that the types of snacks that we mostly crave (read: sugary treats) aren’t usually known to be the best for the health of our teeth. It’s probably a safe bet to claim that your dentist is not really pushing you to eat a cake or candy after you’ve just gotten your teeth cleaned. While we pretty much have an idea of what we should not eat to keep our smiles healthy, but have you even been lectured on what you SHOULD eat to achieve better oral health? Experts have been consulted to find out which
foods can help boost the strength of those pearly whites along with the habits that can save your teeth from distress in the future.
Your Teeth and Food: How are they connected?
Yes, no one’s going to tell you that your teeth are going to fall
off after finishing a bar of Snickers, but we do know that there’s an interconnection between snacking and overall tooth health. In a literal sense, “you are indeed what you eat”. Meaning, if you’re on an unhealthy diet full of sugars, it will impact your overall health negatively, particularly your teeth. However, a diet that’s rich in antioxidants and other nutrients will have you gain a healthy set of teeth.
So clearly, what you eat matters, but how much you consume plays a role too. The impact of what we call “moderation” is something that always seems to come up. In every aspect of an individual’s life, the key is almost always, moderation. Over-eating generally leads to weight gain and obesity which could trigger a host of other health problems including cardiovascular diseases. There are even researches that can support a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Okay, that’s already suitably alarming. So to avoid those mouth issues, here’s what you should be throwing into your carts during grocery shopping:
Ensure that you have enough calcium and vitamin D
These are the nutrients you’ll need to strengthen your chompers. Calcium generally supports bone health, while vitamin D helps your body in the absorption of calcium. Foods rich in these nutrients include low fat milk, unsweetened yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, fortified orange juice, cheese, sardines, soy, almond milk, and dark leafy veggies.
Load up on vitamin C
Berries, oranges, tomatoes and broccoli are good for your teeth as these foods contain vitamin C that can help decrease inflammation; plus it protects your gums from incurring cell damages. Be careful though, as too much vitamin C can erode your teeth’s enamel—so again, practice things in moderation.
Unlike acidic foods, an excess of this healthy acid can bring some TLC to your pearlies. Peas, asparagus, and spinach are examples of foods that are packed with folic acid. Folic acid can support healthy cell growth and facilitates cell repair throughout the body.
Eat raw and crispy foods (no, not candies!)
By this, we mean raw and crunchy foods like carrots, apples, celery and the likes. These foods promote saliva production which facilitates the washing away of food particles, which in turn can help you avoid the development of tooth decay.
There have been researches that help support the idea that cranberries can aid in reducing the probability of bacteria
forming in the teeth—something that could effectively hamper the development of tooth decay. Remember to not buy dried food in bulk as dried fruit can have a tendency to stick around in your teeth. Also, don’t think that you can drink your way to a healthier set of teeth—cranberry mixed with alcohol is not a very good idea. Drink alcohol in moderation as doing it excessively will cause you to have decreased amounts of saliva, which in the long run can cause gum disease and bacterial infections.
Keep your brushing and flossing habits on point.
So obviously, it’s not just about food—your oral hygiene and habits count too. Brushing certainly helps, but you need
to understand how flossing can be a critical part of your oral health. Nothing can clean in-between your teeth than
some good old flossing’, and without it, you’re leaving your teeth prone to decay.