Foods To Eat For Better Oral Health
Daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing are essential to a healthy smile, but did you know nutrition has an effect on your dental health, too? Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups promotes healthy teeth and gums.
Healthy Nutrition for Healthy Teeth
- Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese help promote strong teeth and bones. Other sources of calcium include tofu, canned salmon, almonds, and some dark green leafy vegetables.
- Phosphorus, a mineral found in eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts, and beans is good for strong teeth.
- Vitamin C promotes gum health, so eat plenty of sources, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and spinach.
Smart snacking also can keep your mouth in good shape. Resist the urge to snack frequently — the more often you eat, especially between meals, the more likely you are to introduce acid attacks on your teeth. If you do snack, choose wisely and opt for nutritious choices such as raw vegetables, fruits, and plain yogurt. Remember to brush after snacking to help prevent cavities. If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of food particles.
Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. Fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities. As of 2012, nearly 75% of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.
What foods are good for strengthening enamel?
Enamel is the thin, hard mineral coating that covers the teeth, protecting them from decay and the daily stress of chewing, biting, grinding, and crunching. Although enamel is one of the strongest and hardest materials in your body, it can become weakened, eroded, or destroyed by the acids and sugars in certain food and drinks and, once gone, cannot be regenerated.
However, even if you are experiencing some enamel erosion, some foods and habits can help you preserve and strengthen what you have.
- Green or black teas neutralize plaque-causing bacteria
- Sugar-free chewing gum helps promote saliva production
- Fruits and vegetables high in fiber
- Food or beverages with fluoride help repair eroded enamel
- Foods high in protein help promote stronger teeth
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products like milk and cheese
In addition to healthful eating, oral health problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, flossing once a day, drinking fluoridated water, and seeking regular oral health care.