You are what you eat! Did you know that a healthy smile has a lot to do with what you chew on? And we’re not talking about the effects of candy and lots of sugary drinks on your teeth. We all know that’s the quickest way to rot your smile with improper oral hygiene.
We’re referring to how, just like with your overall health, there are superfoods that boost your dental health and play a pivotal role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), one of the first areas of decline as a result of a poor diet is your oral health. But wait, just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for your chompers. Even some of the healthy foods you eat may not be doing your teeth any favors.
So, what should you be eating? Here are some of the top superfoods that boost not only your overall health but also your dental health.
Eat for Your Teeth
When it comes to foods that are good for your dental health, a few different factors play a role, including their nutritional value. According to the ADA, many healthy foods with high nutritional values help keep your teeth strong and remove bacteria and acid from your teeth.
Try to add some of the following foods into your diet to help strengthen and aid in the remineralization process for your teeth’s enamel.
Cheese is one of the best foods for healthy teeth. But wait, before you get too excited and start gnawing on your favorite smoked Gouda cheese wheel, remember, everything in moderation! One of the main reasons cheese is beneficial to tooth health is because it’s high in calcium. Our teeth and gums are primarily made up of calcium, so it’s important to get enough calcium in our diet to maintain bone density. Not getting enough calcium can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Along with being a good source of calcium, cheese is also high in phosphate, which helps balance the pH levels in your mouth, helping to preserve tooth enamel. In addition, cheese increases saliva production, which further helps to wash the mouth of bacteria and thus lowers your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.
Arguably one of the healthiest fish to eat, salmon is most definitely a superfood for your overall health and smile. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are good sources of vitamin D.
A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to dry mouth, which can lead to serious dental health issues, including gum disease and tooth decay. The “sunshine vitamin” is also important because for your body to properly absorb calcium, especially in your teeth and gums, it must have sufficient levels of vitamin D. This entire process is vital for bone health, as mentioned earlier.
Salmon is also one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s fight infections and inflammation protecting your teeth and gums from disease.
The best way to eat salmon is grilled or baked, which helps it retain its nutritional values and is a healthier cooking option. You should also try to consume wild as opposed to farm-raised salmon when possible.
Eat to Support Gum Health
When it comes to taking care of your teeth, your gums play a starring role as well. It’s just as essential to care for your gums as it is your teeth. You can be completely cavity-free and still suffer from gum disease, which can ultimately cost you your teeth. So give your gums a little love with these superfoods.
Spinach and other Leafy Greens
Another great source of calcium, leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and bok choy, are great at boosting your oral health. Along with strengthening your teeth, leafy greens are rich in folic acid and B vitamins which are important in preventing and treating existing gum disease. Also, munching on these fibrous vegetables helps to clean your teeth naturally.
Because leafy greens are nutrient-rich and low in calories, they make for the perfect vegetable to add to your diet. You can easily add greens to salads, soups, or smoothies to reap the oral health benefits.
If you’re craving something a little bit sweet (and tart), reach for a kiwi. Kiwis are a powerhouse fruit with a multitude of health benefits. One being they have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any fruit, which is key to maintaining healthy gums. The high levels of vitamin C help to build and strengthen the collagen in your gum tissue. As we age, our body slows down on its production of collagen, which can lead to your gums breaking down. If your gums become weakened and tender, they become susceptible to bacteria and the onset of periodontal disease.
Kiwis make for a great snack; just remember to remove the furry outer skin. They also make a great addition to any fruit salad.
Clean Your Teeth as You Eat
We’re not saying throw your toothbrush and floss in the trash. Absolutely not! But why not snack on some foods that can clean and revitalize your pearly whites.
Carrots and Celery
These vegetables sort of go together, right? Well, at least on a vegetable tray. But regardless, they both offer substantial benefits to your teeth and should be added to your meal plans. Carrots and celery are loaded with nutrients helping to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. And even more, they help to remove stains and clean your teeth.
These crunchy vegetables act as natural toothbrushes as well as dental floss. Because they’re firm and naturally abrasive, chewing on carrots and celery helps to scrub away plaque while gently massaging your gums. Celery then takes it a step farther and helps to clean in between teeth with its fibrous texture.
Eat them raw as a quick and easy snack or toss them into salads to still benefit from their crunch.
Maintain Your Healthy Smile with VIPcare Dental
Along with eating a healthy diet, it’s essential to schedule routine dental cleanings. This ensures your teeth and gums are in optimum health. If you’d like to learn more about natural ways to restore and boost your dental health and smile with superfoods, schedule an appointment at one of our VIPcare Dental clinics today.