Advice about what not to do to achieve good oral health is easy to come by; but there are some foods and drinks that improve the health of your teeth and gums. And that’s what this blog is all about!
Share the good food
The nutrients and acid content of the foods you consume have an impact on your oral health. Make the following foods and beverages a regular part of your diet, and you and your family could enjoy strong, healthy teeth and gums.
Eat foods high in calcium
Calcium protects the teeth. Calcium is especially important for children whose teeth are still developing as well as adults, in whom more of the tooth surface is exposed. Foods that are rich in calcium include:
Leafy green vegetables
Vegetables like kale and spinach are filled to the brim with mouth-healthy vitamins and minerals. They hold vitamin C, which boosts the production of red blood cells and reduces inflammation. Both these benefits battle against irritation and gum disease. Leafy greens require more chewing, thanks to their high fibre content. This is good for your gums because the chewing action creates more saliva. This also helps to flush out food particles, bacteria, and plaque that may be sticking to your teeth near the gum line.
Leafy greens are high in calcium too, of course, which helps build your teeth’s enamel.
Revamp your diet with power-packed greens by creating salads with them, adding them as a cooked side dish to main meals, and putting them in soups and sandwiches.
Go a little Nuts?
Chewing on nuts can produce extra saliva, which helps to neutralise bacteria that cause cavities. A handful of almonds can provide you with plenty of calcium while walnuts contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, potassium and zinc, which are beneficial for teeth.
Add an adequate amount of phosphorus.
In order to maximise the benefits of calcium, you should eat foods that contain plenty of phosphorus, as well. Calcium and phosphorus work hand in hand to re-mineralise the teeth. The best way to insure you are getting enough phosphorus is to consume a varied, nutritious diet.
These foods are rich in phosphorus:
- Lean meat
Pay attention to vitamin D
Vitamin D allows the absorption of calcium, and some recent studies have shown an association between oral health and vitamin D levels. Some foods rich in this important vitamin, including:
- Fatty fish
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Seek out zinc
Although zinc is a trace mineral, meaning the human body only needs a small amount to be healthy; it is an essential element to good oral health. A wide variety of foods contain zinc, including pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and chickpeas, among many others.
Drink plenty of water
Water essentially rinses your teeth with each sip. Plus, water doesn’t contain harmful sugars or acids as so many other favourite beverages do.
In addition to drinking enough water, snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, and carrots. They have a high-water content, which helps limit the impact of the sugars they contain, and they are rich in essential nutrients.
Chewing raw vegetables like celery and carrots can also help to stimulate your gums and in turn, help maintain the health of your teeth. As an added bonus, carrots and celery also are sources of beta carotene, which the body needs to create Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a key nutrient for building strong teeth.
Okay, now how about a few you weren’t expecting?
Scientists have discovered that a compound in cranberries can stop bacteria from clinging to the teeth and block formation of plaque deposits. It’s best to stick with FRESH cranberries though as items like cranberry juices and other cranberry-containing products can be high in sugar.
Onions have been proven to be a fantastic food for healthy gums because they neutralise oral bacteria. They have microbial properties that target the most common types of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. For great gums, try incorporating more onions into your meals as salad toppers, in sandwiches and burgers, in stir fries, soups and in stews.
Food for healthy teeth and gums, Jindalee
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