If your diet is healthy, then your teeth and gums will also be healthy. And there are actually plenty of foods that are beneficial to your oral health – they help clean your teeth at the same time they keep your body well-fueled.
Dairy – Dairy products like milk and yogurt are low in acidity and low in sugar. Milk is also a great source of calcium which, of course, is the main component of teeth and bones. The calcium and phosphate in cheese helps balance mouth pH, preserves tooth enamel, produces saliva, and kills cavity-causing bacteria.
Fruits – While sometimes high in natural sugars, some fruits are actually abrasives (apples) and in the process of eating them you are scrubbing your teeth in a helpful way (with caveats). Fresh fruits like strawberries and kiwis are a good source of Vitamin C, which helps maintain the health of gums.
Vegetables – Strong tooth enamel is formed with healthy doses of Vitamin A, found in veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Crunchy vegetables like cauliflower, celery, and cucumbers may help clean gums because of the chewing power necessary to ingest these foods which produces extra saliva, thereby neutralizing acids. Raw onions – though sometimes a culprit of bad breath – can actually kill some bacteria.
Herbs – Fresh herbs like parsley, mint, and cilantro combat mouth odors that come from the buildup of bacteria. Dried herbs are not as effective.
Protein – Eggs, beef, chicken, and turkey all contain phosphorous which, along with calcium, is one of the most vital minerals in teeth and bone.
Water – Water cleans the mouth, washes particles away from the teeth, keeps gums hydrated, and helps produce saliva which deposits essential minerals into your teeth.
While supplements are beneficial to your overall health, it’s sometimes too easy to swallow a capsule that takes the place of the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables. Supplements are named as such for a reason – they’re meant to supplement the essential nutrients that should compose every person’s diet. Clearly, the additional oral health benefits of actually eating these foods is lost if they are omitted from your daily meals.
As a holistic dentistry practice, we are concerned with your overall well-being as well as your oral health. What you put into your body affects your teeth and gums. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Vladimir Gashinsky in Millburn, NJ, to learn more about the teeth-body-diet connections.
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