7 Foods to Eat for a Healthy Mouth
The foods we eat can either help or hinder our ability to have a healthy mouth. We often hear about foods we should avoid, like candy, sweet fruit juices, and acids, but which foods promote healthy gums and teeth?
Fortunately finding and consuming foods that are good for our teeth is probably something many of us are doing already. The best choices are whole foods high in calcium, Vitamins C, K, and B, and fibrous foods. The list below describes some of the best choices for good oral health that we recommend from Huntersville Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Huntersville NC.
Since dairy is high in enamel-strengthening calcium, dairy foods such as cheese, milk, and yogurt make good choices for healthy teeth. Yogurt especially, with its probiotics helps decrease gingivitis and plaque. The good bacteria in probiotics overpower the bad bacteria that causes cavities. Look for yogurts or other dairy products with no added sugar for optimal health.
Foods like spinach, kale, and other leafy greens provide numerous oral health benefits. Like dairy, they’re high in calcium and they also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that promotes healthy mouths. Further, because they tend to be foods that require a bit of chewing, they produce a lot of salivae, which helps to wash away bad bacteria in the mouth.
Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Like leafy greens, crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, and celery make you chew for long periods of time, thus promoting that saliva to wash away the bad bacteria and dilute acids. Carrots and Celery are also high in vitamin A, an antioxidant that boosts gum health.
Further, whole fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and water. They can act like a toothbrush in between meals by stimulating the gums thanks to the fibrous content. Chew them after eating lunch or top salads with shredded carrots to cleanse your mouth when you don’t have access to your toothbrush.
Nuts and Seeds
High in calcium, fiber, and folic acid, nuts make great additions to salads, stir-frys, and snacks to promote healthy gums. The natural fats found in nuts and seeds coat tooth enamel in a protective shield to prevent against decay.
Like celery and carrots, sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A. This vitamin helps prevent dry mouth, promotes healing, and keeps mucous membranes in good health. A lack of Vitamin A can cause gingivitis.
Sweet potatoes provide more than 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance per serving, making them an excellent choice for Vitamin A intake.
Vitamin C-rich Foods
We know that Vitamin C is great for our overall health and helps shorten the duration of our colds, but did you know that it also promotes healthy gums and helps heals wounds? Scurvy, the famous sailors’ disease is caused by a lack of Vitamin C and can cause ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth. It’s uncommon today, but no less important.
Foods rich in vitamin C like strawberries, oranges, and red bell peppers help strengthen blood vessels and act as an anti-inflammatory. The power vitamin also boosts collagen production, which helps maintain healthy gums.
It’s best to get your vitamin C from whole foods as opposed to juices since they can be high in sugar and quite acidic, which can cause erosion of the tooth enamel.
Popping a stick of sugar-free gum can work wonders for oral health. In addition to producing lots of salivae, it also contains calcium and phosphate, which help strengthen tooth enamel. Additionally, those sweetened with xylitol, help reduce bacteria in the mouth.
Choose flavors like mint and cinnamon opposed to fruity ones. Those containing fruit may contain natural sugars that can lead to tooth damage. Avoid chewing for long periods of time to prevent a sore jaw.
If you have experienced any oral pain or want to learn more about the benefits of different foods for a healthy mouth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Marra at Huntersville Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
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