For most of us, there’s something uplifting about a delicious treat rich in sugars or starch. From french fries to smooth, delicious ice cream, there’s little that brings a smile to our face. Unfortunately, these treats are packed with things that can have a dramatic impact on the health of our teeth. Both sugars and starches play directly into the growth and development of bacteria that are harmful to our oral health. The starches convert into sugars, and bacteria feed on those sugars to produce acid and biofilms like plaque and tartar. So what can you eat that will ensure that your teeth stay healthy?
A Collection Of Foods That Make Up A Tooth Healthy Diet
Before we start talking about the kinds of food, you can eat to help improve your dental health and that of your whole body, let’s start with one very basic step. Drink plenty of water. Hydration helps every part of our body function better and helps to keep our mouths free of debris and acid. It also helps ensure that we can produce enough saliva, which serves as a primary form of defense against tooth decay.
- Dairy – Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium for our bodies, especially low sugar options like cheese. Cheese delivers calcium and phosphate, which is known to help keep our oral pH levels in balance, protecting our dental enamel. Milk and yogurt are other great options.
- Vegetables With Crunch – Crunchy vegetables are nature’s toothbrushes. The firm crispness of these foods also means they contain plenty of water, which stimulates the production of saliva. Celery, in particular, does double duty as toothbrush and floss and is particularly good for cleaning teeth. The vitamins these vegetables bring are critical as well.
- Leafy Greens – Folic acid, calcium, and a host of other minerals and vitamins can be found in the delicious flavor of leafy greens. Spinach and lettuce are great sources that can be used in multiple ways. Spinach goes great in salads, on pizza, and in pasta, for example.
- Apples and Pears – Apples are good for more than just keeping the doctor away. Like crunchy vegetables, they’re great at cleaning your teeth, and the juices of a fresh apple don’t come with the same risks as high-sugar apple juice. Raw pears, in particular, are good at neutralizing acids responsible for decay.
- Nuts – There’s an abundance of important minerals and vitamins in nuts, including phosphorus and calcium. Cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts come with the added benefit of antimicrobial properties that help battle tooth decay.
These foods form the foundation of a great tooth-healthy diet and are good for the rest of you as well. Just remember, in addition to eating right, you want to get plenty of water. It really is that important.
More Dental Nutrition Helps From Your Dental Care Provider
If you’re interested in getting more guidance on building a tooth-healthy diet, give your dental team a call. The experts at your clinic are able to provide valuable information about protecting your teeth, including what foods to choose. Schedule your appointment at your earliest opportunity, and take some time to speak with your hygienist during your exam.