Your choice of food and beverage can impact the health and appearance of your smile.
Eating nutritious food strengthens teeth and gums. The combination of sugary and starchy food and poor dental hygiene habits can make you more vulnerable to plaque buildup and cavities.
You don't have to get rid of sugar in your diet altogether. But smart snacking will go a long way to maintaining good oral health. Here are examples of good food for your teeth.
- Cheese. Do you love cheesy dishes? You have more reasons to love cheese as it's one of the best foods for the teeth. Cheese is high in calcium and contains casein, a protein that neutralizes mouth acids which protects the enamel. Cheese also stimulates salivary flow and dislodges debris on tooth surfaces.
- Milk and yogurt. Like cheese, dairy products such as milk and yogurt also contain casein that shields the enamel against erosion. They're also high in calcium and phosphorus that help fix the teeth when damaged by harmful acids. Dairy products are beneficial in neutralizing acid levels in the mouth. If you're not a fan of milk, try yogurt. Be sure to take the plain and low-fat variants.
- Carrots and celery. Carrots and celery are fibre-rich and stimulate salivary flow, remineralize the enamel, and protect against cavities. Chewing on these crunchy vegetables removes debris and harmful bacteria on teeth surfaces. Carrots and celery are also rich in beta carotene, which is good for bone health. Add them to your recipes to make a healthy dish that benefits your teeth.
- Nuts. Nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals that enhance tooth health. They're rich in calcium and phosphorus that fight decay-causing bacteria and strengthen the bones and enamel. Nuts are also low in carbohydrates, making them an ideal snack. Since nuts are crunchy, chewing on them can also dislodge deposits on tooth surfaces. Be careful, though, especially when eating nuts with shells. Use a nutcracker to open them and avoid damaging your teeth.
- Meat, soy, and fish. Meat and soy contain arginine, which helps raise pH levels and neutralize acidity in the mouth. This protects the teeth against acid attacks that can cause enamel erosion and cavities. Fish, such as sardines and salmon, is another beneficial food for the teeth. It's a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that help strengthen the bones and teeth. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help ease inflammation and prevent and treat gum disease.
- Garlic and onion. This may come as a surprise as garlic is often considered a tooth offender - it can leave the breath smelling unpleasant. Garlic contains allicin that can get rid of bacteria linked to tooth decay, infections, and gum disease. You can get allicin from fresh garlic. Raw onion, on the other hand, has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help strengthen the teeth and body.
- Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is another superfood for the teeth. It's packed with antioxidants that help reduce plaque buildup on teeth. Studies also show that dark chocolate contains polyphenols that can help limit bacteria in the mouth and fight gum disease and tooth decay. Consider trading your milk chocolate with dark chocolate but remember to indulge in moderation.
Healthy eating helps you prevent dental problems. Limit snacking to prevent plaque buildup as the mouth produces less saliva outside of mealtimes.
Aside from adding teeth-friendly food to your diet, don't forget daily brushing and flossing, and going for regular oral hygiene cleanings and checkups.
Do you have more questions about maintaining good oral health? Contact our dental office in Kitchener today. We're more than happy to help you book an appointment with the dentist.