What Foods are Good for Your Smile?
- Author Dr. Nilu Bhadani
- Published February 16, 2022
- Word count 564
Growing up, you were probably constantly told that too much sugar is bad for your teeth, and it’s true; it can encourage bacteria in your mouth to secrete harmful acids that can eventually cause cavities and gum disease. But if sugary foods are a detriment to your oral health, what sort of foods will benefit it? Here are some common examples of foods that promote healthy teeth and gums:
Cheese, Milk, Yogurt, and Other Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is a mineral that helps fortify tooth enamel and bone tissue. By consuming a lot of foods that are high in calcium but low in sugar, you can strengthen your teeth and maintain a healthy jawbone. Cheese is a particularly good choice, since in addition to calcium, it’s also high in phosphate, which helps keep the pH levels in your mouth from growing too acidic. Yogurt and milk are also prime sources of calcium; in fact, milk is considered to be one of the best drinks for your teeth besides fluoridated water.
Crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots aren’t just nutritious; they also act like natural toothbrushes. When you chew them, they stimulate the flow of saliva and help scrub away food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums, allowing you to keep your smile clean throughout the day. They also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and calcium that are vital for oral health.
Apples and Pears
Like crunchy vegetables, apples and pears help keep the mouth clean by boosting salivation and scrubbing the teeth and gums while you chew. In general, regular solid apples are preferable to apple juice, since the latter tends to be high in sugar while the former will help stimulate the gums to improve their defenses against cavity-causing bacteria. Meanwhile, raw pears can help neutralize any acids in your mouth that might be contributing to tooth decay.
Many kinds of nuts contain important nutrients for fighting cavities and strengthening the teeth and bones. Good examples include peanuts, which are high in calcium and vitamin D, as well as cashews, which can stimulate saliva flow. Walnuts in particular are packed with fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, vitamin E, potassium, and other nutrients that can benefit your smile as well as the rest of your body.
Meats and Fatty Fish
Most meats contain some combination of the nutrients listed above, allowing them to contribute to a healthier mouth. And since they tend to require a bit of chewing, they’re also good for saliva production. Fatty fish like salmon are particularly good for your smile because they’re high in enamel-strengthening phosphorous.
There are many more foods that can have a significant positive impact on your oral health. If you have concerns about the effect your diet might be having on your teeth and gums, you can talk to your dentist to see what suggestions they have regarding smile-friendly foods.
About the Practice
At Gentle Care Family Dental, Dr. Bhadani offers gentle dental care for everyone regardless of age. She aims to provide comprehensive care that is both comfortable and affordable, and she takes whatever steps she can to protect her patients’ smiles for the long term. She’s always happy to lend an ear to your dental concerns and give you recommendations for ways you can improve your oral health.
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