Brushing twice daily and flossing are important to maintaining a healthy smile but it is also critical that you eat the right foods. Having a diet of nutrient-rich food promotes oral health. So what are the foods that help maintain healthy teeth and gums?
Eating plenty of sugar-filled foods could put you at risk of tooth decay. This happens when plaque meets sugar in the mouth which causes acids to attack the teeth. This can come from sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and other sugar filled snacks. It’s a good practice to read the nutrition labels on foods and beverages that you consume in order for you to decide which options are the best.
With proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet, tooth decay can be prevented.
Foods for Optimum Oral Health
It is important to know not only the kinds of food that you need to avoid but also the kinds of food that you need to eat regularly in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Calcium-rich foods – Make sure that you have enough calcium in your diet which you can get from milk but choose the ones with less or no fat. Yogurt is also rich in calcium, as well as cheese, tofu, salmon, and dark green leafy vegetables. These calcium-rich foods contribute to strong teeth and bones.
- Phosphorus – Eating eggs, fish, and lean will provide your body with more phosphorus. You can also get it in nuts and beans. Phosphorus is very good in keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
- Vitamin C – You already know that Vitamin C helps fight viruses, but it is also great in promoting healthy gums. Make sure that you eat plenty of citrus fruits to get enough Vitamin C. Tomatoes and vegetables like spinach are also great sources of Vitamin C.
- Crunchy foods that are high in water – Eating firm, crunchy foods that contain lots of water help strengthen your teeth. Chewing these foods produces more saliva which is good for neutralizing bacteria that lead to cavities. They are also naturally abrasive, so they remove plaque and clean the surface of your teeth when you eat them. Examples of these are raw fruits and vegetables.
Make the Right Choice
The key is in making a conscious effort to choose the healthier options not just in the meals of the day but also in the small snacks that you eat in between.
- Instead of sodas and sweetened fruit drinks, drink plenty of water.
- Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat which are great sources of protein as well as dry beans and legumes.
- Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients and are a great source of Vitamin A which helps protect your teeth’s enamel and fights cavities.
- Tea is also great, both green and black tea. It helps slow down the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. They also contain antioxidants that promote overall health.
It is not so bad to eat snacks, but you can limit them and stick to healthier options. Instead of junk food and sugary sweets, eat a healthy fruit or a piece of cheese. You can also snack on plain yogurt. Make wise choices when snacking to keep your mouth in good shape.
For best results, remember to floss and brush your teeth daily, and visit your dentist regularly.