You are what you eat- that’s particularly true for your teeth and gums. We are not the only ones who love starchy and sugary food. As it turns out, the bacteria in our mouths like them as well. These bacteria are the ones responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
Including a variety of nutrient rich food in our diet from all kinds of food groups benefits and promotes healthy gum and teeth. This means you are going to have to maintain a healthy and balanced diet comprising, fruits, vegetables, calcium and protein rich foods.
So, which foods are best for teeth and gum health?
Some of the best foods for strong teeth are fresh fruits and vegetables owing to their high nutritional value and added teeth cleaning benefits.
Then, there’s calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, fortified soy milk drinks, tofu, canned salmon, almonds and green leafy vegetables that promote the development of stronger and healthy teeth and bones. Chewing on crunchy foods gets enables the saliva flow, which along with water, helps to rinse away plaque causing bacteria and left over food particles.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt
Cheese is one of the best food items for the promotion of healthy teeth for a large number of reasons. Firstly, it is low in sugar content and high in calcium. It contains casein, which is a protein that plays a significant role in fortifying and strengthening the tooth enamel. Cheese is also calcium- rich, which is crucial for the maintenance of a healthy bone density. Cheese is also very high in phosphate content, which balances pH levels in the mouth, which helps in the preservation of the tooth enamel. Another great reason cheese is a friend to our teeth, as mentioned earlier, is that chewing it increases saliva secretion that helps to rinse away bacteria in the mouth.
Besides, good and old fashioned fluoridated water, milk is the best drink when it concerns your teeth. It’s calcium-rich. Milk, like cheese, also lowers and balances the acid levels in the mouth, which enables fighting tooth decay and cavities.
Yogurt is filled with calcium- content and most importantly probiotics that defend you and your teeth against cavities, bad breath and gum disease.
Celery, Carrots, and Other Crunchy Veggies
Vegetables are good for teeth because they require a lot of chewing to. Crunchy foods items that contain lots of water are also known as natural teeth cleaners because they promote the secretion of saliva, which helps to scrape away left-over food particles and bacteria. These fresh and crunchy vegetables are usually also rich in some of the most crucial vitamins and minerals for your oral health.
Celery can also be called nature’s dental floss. The fibrous and crunchy texture makes for a very effective natural teeth cleanser.
In addition to being a storehouse of a lot of nutrients, carrots are also known to fight cavities. Carrots are rich in vitamin C, calcium and keratins, and these also offer dental benefits. Consuming fresh carrots also helps you cleanse your teeth, almost like a natural toothbrush. When combined with your saliva, carrots also help to clean stain-causing bacteria and food particles.
Leafy Greens (Spinach, Lettuce, Kale)
Supremely healthy, leafy greens are packed with calcium, folic acid and umpteen other important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums could benefit from. Crunchy and fresh greens in salads and sandwiches also help in cleaning your teeth, gut and overall health.
Apples and Pears
Can an apple a day also keep the dentist away? Probably not, but it can certainly help. Including apples or other hard fibrous fruits in your diet can help clean your teeth and increases the secretion of saliva, which can neutralize corrosive acids like citric and malic acids that are left-over in your mouth. While apple juice with sugar and preservatives might add to the process of tooth decay, fresh apples are less likely to cause trouble inside your mouth. Chewing the fibrous texture of apples, specifically the skin, stimulates your gums, further taking down the number of cavity-causing bacteria and increasing the secretion of saliva.
Unlike many acidic fruits, raw pears are known to neutralize acids in your mouth that promote tooth decay.
Nuts can benefit your teeth like none other. They are packed with tons of important nutrients like phosphorus and calcium. Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, which help to defend your mouth against bacteria that cause tooth decay. For instance, peanuts are one of the best source of calcium and vitamin D. Almonds contain good amounts of calcium, which promotes teeth and gum health. Cashews are also known to stimulate saliva and walnuts contain everything from fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc.
Meats and Fatty Fish
Meats are known to offer some of the most significant nutrients mentioned above, and chewing of meat produces saliva. More saliva is definitely good, because it decreases acidity in your mouth and cleans particles of food that promote tooth decay. Red meat and organic meats are especially helpful. Fatty fish (like salmon), and tofu are rich in minerals like phosphorus, an important for protecting the tooth enamel against erosion and decay
Tea and Coffee
Polyphenols are a category of naturally appearing chemicals that are found in many of the foods and drinks that we consume, including teas, coffee and other associated beverages. They are known to have several health benefits, including their function as antioxidants, which can combat cell damage. They are also effective in subsiding inflammation and helping to fight cancer. Green and black teas are rich in polyphenols and have umpteen number of other health benefits.
Cranberries and Raisins (Fresh or Sugar Free)
Cranberries contain a large amount polyphenols (just like tea) and are known to provide antioxidant benefits. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation. Having said that, you must also know that some packaged and dried or dehydrated cranberries contain a lot of added sugar that isn’t so good for teeth or overall health