Everybody wants healthy-looking teeth and gums for the best smile. A great smile makes you appear happy and approachable, which does wonders for your self-confidence, there are many ways in which you can improve your oral health. The most fundamental approach is to eat the correct and the best foods to boost your overall health which includes your dental health.
So, what is the best diet to keep your pearly whites sparkling? What foods do you have to include on your shopping list to ensure strong, healthy gums and teeth? In this article, we’ll let you know the best foods for a healthy mouth.
If you want to read to keep your teeth fresh and young, then here is another article from the same author: 5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR TEETH FRESH & YOUNG, I hope you’ll like it too.
Tips to remember when eating for your oral health
1. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential and the best foods, not only do they provide the vitamins and minerals required by the body, but they also contain high levels of water which is excellent for hydrating the mouth.
- However, some fruits and vegetables are superior to others:
Cucumbers, celery, apples, and melons are amongst the best in hydrating the body. The extra hydration means more saliva is produced in the mouth to wash away harmful bacteria.
- Crunchy fruits and veggies also play an essential role in mechanically cleaning the teeth as you chew them. Apples, carrots, and celery are great examples. This type of fresh produce also takes longer to eat because of the extra fiber. The longer you chew, the more saliva is produced in the mouth which can, once again, wash away bacteria that cause plaque formation and gum disease.
2. It is important to realize that certain foods, while they may healthy for you, can cause harm to your teeth. These include items such as dried fruits like raisins and granola bars. The general rule here is: if the foodstuff is sticky then the chances are they will adhere to the teeth, and if not physically removed by brushing, will remain there causing bacterial growth, so always take the best foods to avoid from bacteria.
3. Sugary items like sweets and lollipops should be avoided or eaten in moderation because they release the sugar over a long time and this sticks to the teeth. This sugar becomes the food the bacteria thrive on, which will lead to cavities and gum disease.
4. Vitamin C is essential in your diet for overall health. Eat foods rich in vitamin C to keep your body’s immune system in peak condition. A healthy immune system can resist any infection and inflammation in the body and the mouth.
- Spinach, peppers, pineapple, kiwis and citrus fruits are some foods that are chockful of vitamin C.
- An added benefit is the extra chewing they require before swallowing. Extra chewing means more saliva, and healthier teeth and gums.
Here is a detailed article on Vitamin C
5. Include calcium-rich foods in your diet. Calcium is an essential mineral to keep the teeth robust and hard-wearing.
Some dietary sources of calcium are dairies, like cheese and milk, and leafy greens like spinach and broccoli. Hard cheeses are also great for stimulating increased saliva production. More saliva means more food particles get rinsed away from teeth surfaces.
Additionally, dairy products contain a protein called casein which is very useful in neutralizing acids in the mouth that cause harm to the tooth surfaces and gums.
6. There are many products on the supermarket shelves that have harmful additives and are sweetened. It is good practice to become familiar with reading the nutritional information on products to make the healthiest choices for your dental health. Always opt for unsweetened products and remember that sugar is sometimes camouflaged as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose and a host of many others. Familiarise yourself with the various guises of sugar and consume only in moderation.
7. Excessive sugary snacks in the diet, like cakes and sweets, but also starchy foods, like potato crisps, are carbohydrate-dense. This means that once the carbohydrates in these foods mix with saliva, they become sticky and provide the fuel for bacteria to grow. Consume these snacks only in moderation and brush your teeth, if possible, after eating.
8. Green tea is known to be full of antioxidants. These play an essential role in fighting against inflammation in the body. In the mouth, green tea can specifically reduce gum inflammation that may be triggered by bacteria that can cause periodontal disease. Include at least one cup of green tea per day to benefit from this great antioxidant-rich beverage, it’ll be a great item in the best foods list.
If you want to read in details about Green Tea
9. Eat nuts regularly to benefit your dental health- specifically, almonds. Not only are almonds rich in calcium but also low in harmful sugars. Again, the extra chewing is beneficial to the mouth by producing more saliva and for rubbing against tooth surfaces, cleaning them.
10. Your diet should include lean protein. This includes foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and poultry. Ensure the cuts of meat you’re consuming are not full of fat- this is not healthy.
Many bodily processes require all the minerals contained in protein. Phosphorus is one such mineral. It is significant for building strong bones and teeth.
11. You should consume plenty of water for overall hydration. Water is excellent for cleaning the mouth- it rinses off any food particles that may be stuck on teeth surfaces and even in the hard-to-reach areas, like between teeth. Make it a habit of drinking plain water regularly, especially after eating foods high in sugar. Water will dilute any acids formed after eating these foods.
Most of our drinking water includes fluoride which helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Confirm that your drinking water contains fluoride.
A well-hydrated mouth also prevents halitosis (bad breath).
12. Use sugar-free gum after meals to promote saliva production and also to clean teeth. This a great way to clean the mouth and to freshen breath- especially if you cannot brush your teeth at that time.
You can control your dental health by what food items you add to your shopping basket. Make wise and informed choices, and you will have sparkling teeth and healthy gums for a very long time.
Remember that food is the fuel we consume for the body; if we consume “bad” fuel, we compromise good health. The right foods can heal the body and keep us in peak health.
What's Your Reaction?
Dr. Nabil Mockbil received his DDS in 2001 from Umea University in Sweden, regarded as having the best dentist programme in Sweden for undergraduates. He’s now the founder of the Swedish Dental Clinic in Dubai.