Maintaining good oral health is a lot more complex than just avoiding sugar. Most of us think that if we totally avoid foods that contain sugar, then we’re safe from getting teeth and gum problems. But the thing is our mouth is quite sensitive to all sorts of food we eat. Therefore, we must be knowledgeable enough to understand what the best foods are in terms of maintaining that white and healthy smile.
WebMD.com has a general overview of the types of food one should consume on a regular basis to make sure those teeth and gums are healthy as they possibly can be. Take this excerpt below from the article “Diet and Oral Health.”
Mouth-Healthy Foods and Drinks
The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
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The post also talked about the types of food you should avoid completely, including cookies, cakes, breads, candy, chips, fries, raisins, and pretzels. There’s one common thing in them and that is sugar. Meanwhile, the most preferred and safest beverages for good oral health are water, milk, and unsweetened tea. It is recommended that you avoid sugar-filled drinks as much as possible.
When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy meanwhile, Colgate.com, in the article “Healthy Foods List: Seven Best Foods For Your Teeth” recommends the following:
If you’re one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry, reported at EurekAlert! found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It’s thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
Leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel. They also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women, according to MedlinePlus. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet, add a handful of baby spinach to your next salad or throw some kale on a pizza. You can also try adding some greens to a smoothie.
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The best thing about the three foods mentioned is that they’re readily available, wherever you are in the world. While they’re not as enticing and delicious as the likes of junk food, soft drinks, and burgers, cheese, yogust, and leafy greens are all guilt-free food that guarantee you oral health. And what’s even more interesting is that you can actually find hundreds of different recipes using them as ingredients in order to enjoy them more.
Finally, to keep your teeth strong and avoid tooth loss, we found this article from Delta Dental talking about different foods and the benefits they hand out to your teeth in general.
- Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D and help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Adding powdered milk to cooked dishes helps those who don’t like milk or cheese to get some of the calcium needed to protect teeth and jawbones.
- Cheese unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.
- Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots and celery, help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
- Antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin C, and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.
- Recent studies indicate that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque.
- Folic acid promotes a healthy mouth and supports cell growth throughout the entire body. This member of the B vitamin family is found in green leafy vegetables and brewer’s yeast.
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Eating the right food is just a part of your responsibility of keeping good oral health. The other part involves you having regular visits to the dentist. Over time, bacteria and acid thrive in your mouth, causing the buildup of tartar and decay. In order to keep them at bay and prevent them from creating damage, you will need to have regular cleaning and checkups.