Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing will definitely provide you a good oral health. But also good nutrition can have a great impact in protecting your pearly whites and gums. A poor and improper diet can lead to caries and gum disease. Foods and drinks that are rich in carbohydrates and added sugars are the worst things you can do to your teeth. Instead, you should choose foods and drinks that contain calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, protein, zinc, folate and more. They will not only benefit your oral cavity but also your whole body. Here are the perfect examples of what you should eat for healthy teeth and gums.
Drinks and Foods Rich in Calcium
Milk and yogurt are the best sources of calcium for your teeth. Calcium is the main mineral in the structure of the teeth and it makes them stronger and more resistant to damage. Yogurt also contains proteins and is a probiotic. As a probiotic stimulates the growth of the good bacteria that protect not only your teeth but also your gums. The only thing that you have to be careful about is to buy a yogurt without any added sugars.
Cheese is already proven as a food that is very beneficial for a healthy smile. Just like milk and other dairy products, cheese is rich in calcium and also protein. Cheese increases the pH levels in the mouth and makes the oral cavity more resistant to decay. Also when you eat cheese, it stimulates the saliva flow. This way the bacteria are washed off from the mouth much more efficiently.
Crunchy vegetables and fruits can be very helpful in protecting your oral health. They usually contain a lot of water and fiber. The act of chewing crunchy food has a similar effect as brushing your teeth. Of course, it is not to the same extent, but it provides a good scrubbing. These types of food stimulate the saliva flow, that removes and rinses food leftovers and some of the bacteria. They also have a very positive and stimulating effect on the gums. Celery, apples, carrots, cucumbers should be your go-to food for a stronger smile. They all taste very good, but if they are not your favorite food you can find many recipes online to make them taste better. Carrots are even a great source of vitamin A.
A lot of people have heard that strawberries can whiten the teeth, but don’t really believe it. Well, it is completely true. These delicious treats contain malic acid that will whiten your teeth. Of course, you shouldn’t expect the same effect as professional whitening or as using at-home whitening kits. But at least it is a natural way to do it, and strawberries won’t cause any damage to your pearly whites.
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is the best thing you can do to your body. Water is very similar to saliva. In fact, saliva is 99% water. Water has the same effect as saliva, by rinsing off food particles and bacteria from your teeth. Also, tap water in most places contains fluoride that is essential in protecting your teeth. If you don’t drink enough water your saliva might become thicker and that will lead to many problems in the oral cavity. Dry mouth is one of the most common factors for dental caries.
Leafy Green Vegetables
The leafy greens are not only beneficial for your teeth, but also for your whole body. Spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce are just a small part of the green vegetables that will protect your smile. All of these greens require a lot of chewing action, that highly stimulates the flow of saliva. The more saliva, the cleaner the oral cavity is. The leafy greens are rich in calcium and folic acid that will only do good for the teeth and gums. Most of these vegetables are also packed with phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene.
Green and black tea
The polyphenols that are found in the green and black tea can slow down the growth of the harmful bacteria in the mouth. They can interact with these bacteria and significantly decrease their number. The best time to consume tea is right after your meal, but you have to drink it without sugar or any other type of sweetener. Tea also contains fluoride that is very healthy for your smile. There is one downside of drinking tea. The green and black tea, unfortunately, can color your teeth.
Sugarless Chewing Gums
When you chew gums you stimulate more saliva and help the cleaning of the mouth. Also, gums mechanically remove some of the food remains and bacteria from the teeth. Always choose sugar-free gums, because the ones that contain sugar will only do damage. The ideal time for chewing gums is after you’ve finished your meal.
Cranberries are not only super tasty but will also protect you from caries. They contain anthocyanins that can fight pathogen bacteria in the mouth. They prevent the attachment of bacteria to the surfaces of the hard and soft tissues in the oral cavity. Studies show that drinking 100% cranberry juice can significantly lower the chances of dental caries. Cranberries also have the ability to stop the formation of glucan which is the most important ingredient in the plaque. This way the indirectly prevent the plaque buildup on teeth.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cashews contain a lot of calcium. Both bones and teeth are mostly made of calcium, so it really makes sense that this mineral will improve their structure. Nuts and seeds are also rich in magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus, which are all important for the health of your oral cavity. They are also almost sugar-free, which is just an additional reason to eat more of them.