Last week, we posted about some of the 8 worst foods for your teeth. Today we want to share 8 of the best foods for your teeth. Here at Meridian Campus Family Dental, we are always eager to help you improve and maintain your oral health.
Do you like cheddar? It’s rich in calcium and phosphate. Cheese lowers the acid levels in your mouth, which really frustrates plaque-producing bacteria. Win-win! Chewing on hard cheeses increases saliva production, which washes off some of that bad bacteria in your mouth. Keep in mind that hard, aged cheeses are the best options for oral health. If you’re dairy-free, then you can nosh on apples, celery and carrots because they also help to stimulate saliva.
Water is a superhero to your body and teeth! It helps wash away food particles in your mouth and assists in keeping your saliva levels high. Spit is an excellent defense against tooth decay because it contains proteins and minerals that naturally fight plaque. Keep yourself hydrated, and you’ll have an unlimited supply of saliva.
Eggs are mineral powerhouses. They contain vitamins D and K, as well as phosphorous, calcium and arginine. Vitamin K serves many purposes, including getting calcium to our bones. Calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus all work together to help keep your teeth enamel strong. When calcium and arginine are combined, they help to decrease tooth sensitivity. Eggs really pack a healthy punch for being so small!
4) Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are rich in calcium, folic acid and other vitamins and minerals which are essential for your teeth and gums to be at optimum well-being. The best of the leafy greens are spinach, broccoli and kale. You’ll be benefitting your body and health, by dramatically upping your intake in this area.
Not all fish is equally good for us, since some can contain high levels of mercury. Wild-caught salmon, sardines, and anchovies are low in mercury and rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower rates of gum disease. They also contain a nice amount of calcium and vitamin D, which is important for bone and gum health. Be sure to floss after eating fish since meat tends to get stuck between teeth!
Nuts are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are packed with essentials like calcium and phosphorus. Especially beneficial to oral health are almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews, because they help fight the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Caution is warranted when eating raw almonds as they are hard and have be known to fracture teeth. Soaking, baking, blanching, or roasting almonds will soften them. Eating them chopped or sliced is another good option.
Chewing gum isn’t just for freshening breath. Gum boosts saliva production, washing away bacteria and food particles. It can also help strengthen the jaw muscles. Be sure the gum you choose has no sugar, which is very harmful for your teeth. Gum containing xylitol is a good choice, as it has shown to aid in reducing bad bacteria and plaque. Xylitol also helps fight tooth erosion and gingivitis.
If you enjoy this source of protein for breakfast, you’ll be happy to know that research has revealed that the good bacteria in yogurt helps fight the bad. The caveat here is that for yogurt to be beneficial for your teeth, breath, and gums it has to be free of added sugar. Your best bet is to eat it plain, stir in some coconut and walnuts, add chopped or pureed fruit, or squeeze in a dollop of honey. Honey is beneficial in moderation because it is microbial, impeding the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
No matter what you choose to eat, we always recommend following your meal with a glass of water to wash away any acids or sugars. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once a day, and come visit us every six months! If you need to schedule your next checkup or have more questions about foods good for oral health, contact our Meridian Campus Family Dental Team.