You’ve heard it your whole life - a healthy, balanced diet is essential for maintaining the health of your entire body, including your teeth and gums. We know that sugary, junk foods are bad, but which foods are the good guys?
Basically, if it’s good for your body, it’s good for your teeth. This makes sense, but which of the good foods are really beneficial for supporting oral health? Here are a few that might surprise you!
Crunchy Vegetables! Sunflower Seeds?
Veggies like celery, carrots and cucumbers help your teeth in two ways. First of all, chewing naturally produces more saliva, which counteracts the acidity that results when eating any food.
Secondly, crunchy foods are more abrasive (in a good way), so they help to clear plaque off your teeth as you chew. If you want to help give plaque the boot and give your teeth a workout, pick vegetables that are really crunchy because you have to chew more to eat them.
Surprisingly, sunflower seeds have similar cleaning effects, and since they’re also loaded with calcium, they can actually help by building strong bone structures around your teeth.
Green Tea, Onions and Wasabi
What??? What in the world could these three foods have in common? All three provide similar benefits, and the good news is that you don't have to eat them all together to reap these rewards!
Green tea, onions and the hot stuff in wasabi are helpful for getting rid of bacteria that live in your mouth. Less bacteria = less plaque = less acid = less tooth decay, adding up to a happy, healthy smile. Also, green tea has the added benefit of being lighter in color than black or red teas, so it’s less likely to stain your teeth.
On the downside, onions have more of an effect when they are raw. Ironic, isn’t it, that a food that helps reduce bacteria that causes bad breath actually gives you bad breath? Oh well, it’s only temporary, so eat your onions, and then munch on some fresh parsley or mint afterward.
Food Rich in Vitamin C
Good old Vitamin C – what ISN’T it good for? Of course, you already know that Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system, but did you know that it also provides your gums with nutrients that they need to stay healthy and free of disease?
Insufficient amounts of Vitamin C can cause collagen in your gums to break down, leading to problems that eventually result in periodontal disease and receding gums. And by the way, the highest natural concentration of vitamin C can be found in green, red, and yellow peppers. Oranges, broccoli, mangos, and kiwi will also do the trick.
Water, Water, Water
Water not only encourages your body to create more saliva, but hydration is one of the best things you can do for healthy gums. Stay conscious of your water intake, and if you can't brush your teeth after every meal, at least be sure to rinse with water. Rinsing dislodges food that would otherwise be stuck in your mouth creating plaque and harmful acid.
As you can see, there are a variety of good foods for your teeth, and most of them are very easily incorporated into your regular diet. Just be aware of what you're feeding your body and how it can affect your teeth. Treat your teeth right, and they'll stick with you for a long time!
You can get even more information about the benefits of a healthy diet by visiting Deep River Dentistry for a check-up or cleaning. Grab that bowl of sunflower seeds, and give us a call!