Good Eats for Great Teeth
When we eat, we rarely think about how our favorite foods affect our teeth. Well, we should! Various foods can have very different impacts on our oral health. Here are some types of food that are recommended and some that are not. Follow these, and your smile will remain radiant and you’ll feel healthier overall as well!
Cheese and wine, cheese on pizza, cheese and crackers— it’s safe to say we all love this delicious type of dairy! Cheese (just like milk) has plenty of calcium and a low acidity. Calcium is what strengthens teeth and bones, and helps to prevent from decay forming into your later years. Also, within cheese there is a protein called casein that helps inhibit bacteria from forming on our pearly whites, so ultimately cheese can aim at preventing cavities from forming!
This next one may seem an obvious thought because, as the saying goes, it keeps the doctors (and dentists) away! Yes, apples in all varieties require a lot of effort to eat (we’re talking lots of chewing!) thus allowing the saliva in our mouths to accumulate, which neutralizes enamel-harming acids in our mouth. Apples are also packed with fiber that helps to clean out teeth—sort of like a natural toothbrush. That doesn’t mean you can skip brushing twice a day, though!
This next food product may come as a surprise: sesame oil. This oil has been shown to be effective in treating plaque and preventing gingivitis. If you choose to cook with it, wonderful. If not, try using it in replacement of mouthwash. This technique of oil pulling can reduce the amount of bacteria in our mouths!
Your parents always told you greens were good, but now they are even better. Let’s talk broccoli! When we eat broccoli, the residues help prevent acids from sticking to teeth and starting the decay process. So if you must drink a soda, at least consider eating some broccoli beforehand!
Lastly, who doesn’t love a little minty flavor post meal? The ADA has suggested that chewing gum post-meal is beneficial for oral health. Chewing gum makes your mouth increase saliva production, and this aids in naturally ridding the mouth of bacteria buildup. Stick to the non-artificial flavoring if you can, as some of the colored choices contain more acid!
If you are curious about what effects your favorite foods could be having on your dental health, ask your dentist!