People tend to think about the foods that will keep them strong, fuel their activities or sports, or help them lose weight. But, what about keeping your teeth healthy? Just as you feed your body, there are great healthy food options for your teeth and gums.
Fruits and Vegetables
Yep, your mother was right. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrition and are also tooth-loving fiber! Fiber gets the saliva flowing, which serves to wash away bacteria, remove debris between your teeth, and keeps your mouth fresh. Saliva also helps break down sugar to lower the effects of sugar causing acids that seek to attack your teeth. Crunchy vegetables and fruits (such as apples, pears, and carrots) also act as a natural toothbrush to scrub your teeth! You can’t go wrong with plenty of fruits and vegetables each day.
Cheeses, Milk, and Dairy
The calcium and phosphate in dairy products help to strengthen the enamel in your teeth and is especially important for children and teenagers. Dairy products can also help balance oral pH levels and fight the bacteria that are naturally present in your mouth. The enamel of teeth is actually made up of the minerals calcium and phosphorous. Dairy products help restore minerals that aid to regenerate your teeth. Reach for low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs for a healthy smile!
Fish, Salmon, and Tuna
Fish, cod liver oil, other seafood, and fish oil supplements are good sources of vitamin D. While vitamin D it is crucial to your overall health, it also helps your teeth – and the whole body – better absorb calcium. Seafood is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Eating seafood can reduce any redness or swelling of the gums caused by bacteria. When you think of healthy teeth and bones, think seafood!
Full of benefits for your body and teeth, nuts are a good source of fiber and vitamins. Also, nuts offer calcium and walnuts, specifically, contain fiber, folic acid, iron, and vitamins that benefit healthy teeth and gums! Crunching on nuts as a snack helps to scrub your teeth and fight bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Add almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and cashews to your shopping list for a tasty snack that your teeth will love!
Kiwi, Kale, and Bell Peppers
Don’t forget the health of your gums! Gums have a critical job to do in keeping the mouth healthy and teeth strong. Foods rich in vitamin C help to strengthen blood vessels and reduce inflammation and keep gums healthy. Vitamin C also aids in increasing collagen in your gums, which can help fight periodontal disease. Swap out your regular snack for kiwi, kale, strawberries or bell peppers for a good intake of important vitamin C!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
No list for healthy teeth and gums is complete without mentioning water! Water keeps your mouth hydrated, which helps to protect against acid buildup from sugars and bacteria. A healthy mouth has a good amount of saliva that can rinse your teeth and gums, wash away the stain-causing effects of some foods, and helps to dislodge food and particles. Most tap water is fluoridated, which provides additional benefit against tooth decay! You can’t go wrong with this easy way to keep your teeth healthy!