It’s probably no secret that the foods you eat have a marked impact on your health and life. After all, some foods can affect your energy levels and physical functionality–either for better or for worse. It should therefore come as no surprise that the foods you eat can also affect the health and comfort of your gums and teeth. And while you may understand some basics, such as the fact that foods high in sugar are not great for your oral health, do you also know that certain foods can actually work to improve your oral health? Read on to find out more!
Foods That Help Your Teeth
While there are many, many foods (and even beverages) that can contribute to healthy teeth, following are the top ten to consider:
- Organic milk (or a calcium-fortified milk alternative). Many adults are woefully deficient in calcium, an important nutrient that promotes healthy teeth and bones. Consuming at least 1,000 mg of calcium each and every day, along with vitamin D to aid your body in processing the calcium, can help to reduce your chances of tooth loss. If you cannot consume milk due to lactose intolerance or some other issue, there are many calcium-fortified milk alternatives you should consider, such as almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk.
- Cranberries. Though commonly associated with preventing or resolving urinary tract infections, cranberries are also very well known for their antibacterial properties. Snacking on cranberries can help to prevent bacteria from attaching to your teeth and forming the sticky film that is better known as plaque.
- Green tea. Green tea has long been consumed throughout Asia and is known for its wealth of healthy benefits, not the least of which is its antimicrobial properties. One study has indicated that those individuals who regularly drink green tea have fewer instances of periodontal disease, while another study has indicated that individuals who regularly drink green tea tend to lose fewer teeth as they age than their non-green-tea-drinking peers.
- Shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are often used in stir fries because of their intense fragrance and flavor, but they are also highly beneficial for your teeth. These mushrooms contain lentinan, a natural sugar that works to fight both colon cancer cells and gingivitis. Remarkably, lentinan only kills harmful oral bacteria, leaving beneficial bacteria untouched so it can continue to contribute to your good health.
- Kiwis This unique and delicious fruit is jam-packed with vitamin C, which is essential to protecting against collagen breakdown. While we often associate collagen with healthy-looking and youthful skin, it is also an important component of healthy gums. Kiwis can also help to reduce the tooth stains that are caused by heavily pigmented beverages like red wine and coffee.
- Eggs This powerful protein-packed food also contains phosphorus, an important part of tooth enamel protection.
- Almonds. Full of plant-based protein, almonds are delicious and highly beneficial to your teeth. They contain micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and calcium.
- Onions Despite the fact that “onion breath” has bad connotations, this vegetable is actually a great way to improve one’s breath. The sulfuric acid compounds in onions, which contribute to their strong taste and smell, fight the harmful oral bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Onions are also antimicrobial and can help to reduce or prevent inflammation in the mouth.
- Apples This delicious, crisp fruit actually acts like a natural toothbrush, brushing away both harmful oral bacteria and sticky plaque.
- Citrus fruits. These fruits are also rich in vitamin C, which again helps to boost your body’s collagen production. That said, citrus fruit consumption should always be following by mouth rinsing or even tooth brushing, since citric acid that remains in the mouth can wear away at protective tooth enamel.
These and many other natural foods can help to establish and maintain optimal oral conditions, protecting against many of the common causes of basic oral health issues. For more information about foods that are beneficial to your teeth, contact Dr. Best at Best Smiles today!