Eat and Drink Your Way to Better Oral Health
Besides your weight and overall physical health, you should also think about your oral health when planning your meals. What you put in your mouth and on your plate can potentially lower your chances of having cavities, experiencing gum disease and needing treatments like root canals. Be sure to do what you can to include the following foods and liquids in your daily diet to improve your oral health and give yourself a good reason to smile.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Milk, chicken, cheese, and nuts are a few foods that contain phosphorus and calcium, both of which can protect the enamel on your teeth and undo the damage done by harmful acid. If you have gum disease, you likely have bacteria in your mouth that excrete acid that breaks down your enamel. Be sure you eat and drink plenty of food and liquids that are high in calcium and phosphorus to strengthen your teeth.
Touching back on milk for a moment, it, as well as yogurt and cheese, has a low sugar content, which is great for your teeth and the rest of your oral health. It’s no secret that too much sugar is bad for you, so figuring out healthy alternatives to add to your diet while eliminating sugary food and drink is a great trade-off. To help narrow down the best healthy alternatives, dentists like Dr. George Hatzigiannis are an excellent resource for getting accurate and current information.
Apples are a common part of any healthy diet and for great reason. With regard to your oral health, eating an apple helps you produce saliva, which washes away food particles in your mouth before they have a chance to linger and cause unnecessary damage. Another great thing about this popular fruit is that they can make your teeth whiter and stimulate your gums thanks to their fiber content. It’s best that you eat apples without peeling them, as much of their oral health benefits are found in their skin.
If you don’t like coconut, not to worry; this particular tip involves coconut oil. Specifically, this cleaning technique involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for twenty minutes before spitting it out in the trash rather than down the sink where it can potentially clog up your pipes. What’s so effective about oil derived from coconut is that it has virus and fungus-fighting properties that can keep bad breath at bay, whiten your teeth, heal your gums and treat tooth decay, just to name a few benefits. You can make things easy on yourself by washing your mouth out with coconut oil in the morning while you get ready for work. That way, it’s over and done with and you’re ready to tackle the day with a great smile.
Instead of potato chips or snack crackers, switch to nuts the next time you’re in the mood for a snack. Nuts are a great choice for munching because they’re low in carbs, the fuel tooth decay-causing acids need to thrive and eat away at your enamel. In fact, watching your carb intake in general is a great way to starve that harmful bacteria and acid. A second benefit of nuts in regard to your oral health is the fact that nuts help your mouth produce saliva and get rid of food particles.
If you need another reason to eat your vegetables, know that leafy green veggies can keep you on your dentist’s good side. This is owed to the fact that leafy greens have vitamins and antioxidants that fight any cavities you may have while simultaneously strengthening your teeth with their calcium content. Find it difficult to add greens to your daily diet? Consider making a healthy smoothie in the morning to get your day started and adding a few leafy green vegetables to the mixture.
While your home’s tap water is likely a good source of fluoride, you may filter your water before drinking it. Know that you can get fluoride from more than just your water. For instance, dehydrated soup, powdered cereal, and powdered juice can contain fluoride; just make sure the fluoride-containing juice you drink isn’t high in sugar.
Sticky Sweets and Candies Are a No-No
It likely goes without saying, but it’s worth reiterating: Take it easy on the sticky, gooey candies and sweets. While they may be delicious and irresistible, they can also stick to your teeth and feed any bacteria present in your mouth. Besides sticky candy, several other similar foods should be eaten as little as possible, including:
- Dried fruit
- French fries
No one is perfect, so when (not if) you do indulge in the above forbidden foods, have a stick of sugar-free gum close at hand to chew afterward so you can wash away any remaining particles lingering on your tooth enamel long after you’re done eating.
Don’t find out the hard way how vital it is that you second-guess everything you put on your plate. There’s a lot more to a healthy smile than just brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist; your diet makes a difference, too.
Written by Lisa Smith. Lisa is a professional writer. With a passion for health and fitness, her articles have been published on a number of health, fitness and lifestyle blogs and websites worldwide.