Did you know that by eating the right foods you can actually improve the health of your teeth? In fact, eating the right foods is an integral part of a comprehensive oral health care plan. The question is, “Are you paying proper attention to the foods you are eating?”
Proper dental hygiene is a combination of some basic actions; brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, visiting your dentist for a check-up every six to nine months and eating the right foods.
In the previous articles we referenced the worst 5 foods for your teeth and why that is the case. Once you understand the “why” you’ll be much more likely to follow the right path.
In simplistic terms, a tooth’s worst enemy is acid which creates an environment where tooth decaying bacteria can thrive. One of the solutions to this is foods that neutralize acids, stimulate saliva and provide minerals and vitamins to repair tooth enamel.
So what are the top 5 foods for your teeth? Now that you understand why some foods contribute to the build-up of tooth decay, it’s time to explore the top 5 foods which positively influence and protect your teeth!
The top 5 foods for your teeth
As mentioned above, saliva helps neutralize acids and provide minerals and vitamins to repair tooth enamel. High-fibre vegetables and fruits help positively support the health of your teeth in one way by stimulating the flow of saliva.
But the benefits of fruits and veggies does not end there. If you’ve ever noticed that your mouth felt fresher after eating a carrot or an apple, it was not simply your imagination. High-fibre vegetables and fruits physically scrub the teeth and help keep them clean. High water content fruits and veggies like apples, carrots and celery are particularly effective at cleaning plaque from teeth and freshening the breath.
The next top food for your teeth is normally not considered a food at all: water. It should be no surprise however, how important water is to the health of your teeth. Water helps by rinsing the teeth and mouth, and since it is the main component of saliva, good hydration of the body leads to better tooth and gum health.
The next one concerns how our body gets some of the valuable building blocks of our teeth: calcium, phosphates and vitamin D. All of these occur naturally and in abundance in cheese, milk and other dairy products. Quite simply, without enough calcium, phosphates and vitamin D in your diet, you will increase your risk of developing tooth decay and other dental problems. For those on dairy-free diets, there are many other food sources available, including: calcium-fortified juices and soy milk.
Have you noticed that most restaurants offer a mint after your meal? There may actually be some wisdom in this practice! The value is contained in the fact that the mint helps produce more saliva to rinse the teeth and neutralize acids caused by your meal. Since mints often contain a lot of sugar, a better solution is to chew sugarless gums or sugarless mints after meals and snacks.
Sipping on the right kind of tea is the final top food for teeth health. Both green and black teas contain compounds called polyphenols which are shown to have a suppressing effect on harmful bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing acidic conditions. In addition to helping prevent cavities, polyphenols are also proven reduces inflammation associated with gum disease.