You are what you eat---this statement is never truer than when you are talking about your oral health. Many dentists counsel their patients on how to properly brush, floss, and care for your teeth, but there is another piece of the oral health puzzle that needs to be looked at in order to create optimal oral health.
What are you eating?
You are most likely familiar with foods that can be detrimental to your teeth. Red wine and coffee can leave unsightly stains on teeth, while sugary and sticky foods cling to your tooth enamel, causing decay and damage over time. Acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon, and other citrus fruits can also wear down enamel, making teeth susceptible and weak. Do you know that there are foods you can eat to optimize your oral health? Let’s take a look at these power foods and find ways to incorporate them into your diet for oral health improvement.
Power Food #1: Apples
An apple a day can keep a dentist at bay too---but not for too long! The high-water content of apples stimulates the salivary glands in the mouth, helping to wash away harmful bacteria and food residue that can cling to teeth. Fiber present in the flesh and the skin of apples stimulates and improves the health of gum tissue, and apple juices act as a mild astringent to brighten and whiten the look of your smile. Enjoying apples unpeeled allows for more health benefits, so crunch away!
Power Food #2: Dairy foods
Calcium that is found in dairy foods isn’t just beneficial for your bones---your teeth love it too. This power mineral helps teeth maintain their structure; choose organic sources of fresh dairy and incorporate it into your diet at least a couple times per week for enamel-strengthening results.
Power Food #3: Coconut
It seems that the list of health benefits coconut affords us just keeps getting longer and longer! The practice of coconut oil pulling, which has been standard care in ayurvedic medicine for centuries, is beginning to gain popularity in professional dental care circles; the process involves creating a sterile, clean environment by which toxins and bacteria are eliminated from the mouth.
Oil pulling is not the only way you may benefit from coconut; incorporate it into salads, soups, and use oil when baking and frying. Natural antibacterial properties present in both the flesh and the oil will help safeguard teeth and gums from disease.
Power Food #4: Greens
We have known for centuries that consuming greens is beneficial for total body health---benefits are just beginning to be revealed when it comes to oral hygiene as well. Greens maintain a very high vitamin and mineral ratio while being low on calories; swiss chard, collard greens, and kale are powerhouse sources of calcium and antioxidants that keep teeth healthy and strong. If you have trouble “swallowing” several servings of greens weekly, consider adding a handful to a morning or afternoon smoothie for a nutritional kick.
Power Food #5: Nuts
It’s okay to go nuts! Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios are all excellent sources of vitamins and minerals that help to keep both teeth and soft tissues in your mouth healthy. Excess chewing needed to break down fibers in nuts gives your salivary glands a chance to kick it into overdrive, helping to wash away harmful bacteria and excess food particles, leaving your teeth fresh and clean. Soak up some of those beneficial Omega 3’s and add some snacking nuts or sprinkle on salads and main dishes for extra crunch and better oral health.
With the knowledge that these nutritionally packed superfoods can help you maintain and even improve your oral health, you can partner with your dentist to create a healthy, vibrantly clean mouth. Talk to your dentist about other foods that could safeguard and improve your oral health.
Come see us!
Dr. Gordon E. Krueger DDS, MS, PA is passionate about oral health; he and his dedicated team of associates will design an oral care plan for you that includes uncovering your brightest and best smile. If you’ve had a few too many sugary snacks lately, perhaps it’s time to give us a call. We provide premium patient care and top-notch education to arm you with the tools to create a winning and beautiful smile. Contact us today for more information; visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com/ for more information. A vibrant and healthy smile is in your future!