Foods That Are Good For Your Teeth
Prevention is the best medicine for your smile. Regular brushing and flossing help to keep teeth healthy by getting rid of sugars and food particles that team up with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque produces acid that damages tooth enamel, causes cavities and sets the stage for periodontal, or gum disease.
Although fillings, crowns, and professional whitening can make your teeth stronger and brighter, it’s better to avoid cavities and stains in the first place, by brushing, flossing, and last but not least eating the right food. The food we eat can have a big impact on our teeth.
When it comes to the health of your teeth, you really are what you eat. Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, contribute to tooth decay. One of the first areas to decline when your diet is less than ideal is your oral health
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
Leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel. They also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women.
Carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots or enjoy some baby carrots on their own.
Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner.
Citrus fruits and juices are a rich source of vitamin C and contain other nutrients that are good for you in many ways, but not when it comes to your teeth. Grapefruit and lemon juice, in particular, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time. In a 2008 study that involved soaking pulled teeth in various citrus juices, those two caused the most damage. Orange juice caused the least.
Drinking too many sugary sodas can breed cavities. What’s less well-known is that the acids found in carbonated soft drinks appear to harm teeth even more than the sugar. Even sugar-free diet sodas like Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi which both contain citric and phosphoric acid can erode enamel if consumed in large doses.
Compounds called polyphenols, found in black and green teas, slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that people who rinsed their mouths with black tea for one minute, 10 times a day, had less plaque buildup on their teeth than people who rinsed their mouths with water. Tea undermines the ability of some bacteria to clump together with other bacteria, the researchers said.
Research published in the journal General Dentistry reported that 12 to 15-year-olds who ate cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than those who ate sugar-free yogurt or drank a glass of milk.
Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose, or table sugar. Sugar helps bacteria stick to the tooth surface, letting them produce plaque. Raisins are also a source of phytochemicals, which may kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease.
Crunchy Foods, It takes serious chewing to break down foods such as carrots, apples and cucumbers. But all that crunching isn’t in vain. Chewing “may disturb dental plaque, and serve as a cleansing mechanism,”. So instead of remaining in your mouth and settling on teeth, bacteria get cleared away.
Cranberries contain polyphenols which may keep plaque from sticking to teeth, thus lowering the risk of cavities, according to a study published in the journal Caries Research.
Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.