Our Friend Food
Teeth are important! And most of us take very good care of them. Brushing, flossing, rinsing, cleaning, we do an awful lot to keep our teeth happy. Yet tooth decay and gum disease are still some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Why is this? Well the answer may be hidden in your fridge.
In some cases, the difference between a healthy smile and frequent visits to the dentist might be your diet. Even if you have a fantastic oral hygiene routine, it may be difficult to keep your teeth healthy if you simply don’t watch what you eat.
Often we see food as the villian when it comes to our oral health. We talk about sugar and acids damaging our teeth and spend time educating people to avoid these culprits. However there are many types of food that can actually boost your oral health. Your teeth and gums, just like the rest of your body, need good nutrition to function properly.
Foods Rich in Calcium and Phosphorous
Tooth enamel is, well, minerals. Different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel, so adding minerals back is important. The main heroes here are calcium and phosphorous. These elements are the building blocks of enamel.
Best sources of calcium are natural yogurt, hard cheese, seafood, milk, tofu, and almonds.
Best sources of phosphorous are pumpkin seeds, fish, brazil nuts, red meat, eggs, and tofu.
Firm, Crunchy Foods with High Water Content
Hard, crunchy foods that contain lots of water are great for your teeth more than one way. First, chewing produces more saliva, which is the best natural neutraliser of the bacteria that causes cavities. Second, the texture of these foods also makes them naturally abrasive, so they gently scrub and clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles. It has to be raw fruits and vegetable though, so this is not an excuse to munch on chips and crackers!
Best options are celery, apples, cucumbers, and carrots.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is crucial for your overall health, including your teeth. Vitamin D actually helps your body to absorb calcium better.
Best sources of are sunlight (you can’t eat it, but it is the best natural source), fish, egg yolks, and cod liver oil.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is powerful! It can strengthen blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may help with gum health. Vitamin C is also required for the production of collagen, a key protein that helps you fight periodontal disease. Without Vitamin C, your gums become sensitive and more susceptible to the bacteria causing periodontal disease.
Best sources of Vitamin C are peppers, oranges, kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli, and kale.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
When it comes to their health benefits, antioxidants have almost celebrity status. How do they help your mouth stay healthy? Antioxidants fight the bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease. They help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.
Best sources of antioxidants are apples, berries, grapes, nuts, and beans.
So check your fridge, sit in the sun, and eat your way to oral health!