If you have been to the dentist even once, you have probably heard about all the sticky, sugary foods that taste great but are bad for your teeth. However, many people are not as familiar with foods that are good for the teeth and gums. Here are five foods that you should incorporate into your diet to improve your dental health.
Salmon has a higher vitamin D content than virtually any other food. This is especially true of wild salmon, which contains 65 percent more than the required daily amount of vitamin D. For most people, calcium is the first thing that comes to mind when asked about the most important nutrient for dental health, but vitamin D plays a role that is just as important. Vitamin D increases your body's ability to absorb calcium, indirectly fortifying teeth and bones by helping calcium to do its job.
Collagen is a protein that makes up the connective tissues in your gums that hold the roots of your teeth in place. Over time, gum recession occurs due to a loss of collagen, which can lead to tooth loss and periodontitis. Foods that are high in vitamin C will help to fend off tooth loss and gum disease by preventing the breakdown of collagens to keep your gums strong and healthy.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, but their high citric acid content can cause enamel erosion over time, potentially outweighing the benefits. Instead, strawberries are an excellent alternative. Strawberries have all the vitamin C goodness of their citrus cousins without the enamel eroding effects of citric acid.
Drinking black tea regularly is not a good idea for your dental health because it contains tannin that can stain your teeth. Green tea, on the other hand, contains much less tannin, and also contains compounds called catechin polyphenols that benefit your dental health. These compounds fight the bacteria in plaque by reducing their ability to clump together and stick to your teeth. Additionally, catechin can reduce inflammation in the gums, decreasing the rate at which periodontitis develops. Two to three cups of green tea per day will do your smile good, as long as you limit the sugar.
While you may think that raisins would be one of those sweet and sticky foods that you should avoid, they actually don't contain the type of sugar that harms teeth. Sucrose, or table sugar, feeds plaque, helping it to cling to your teeth and produce acids that erode your enamel. Raisins, on the other hand, contain fructose, a natural sugar that dental bacteria can't metabolize. In fact, raisins contain phytochemicals that can kill the bacteria in plaque. The next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, feel free to snack on raisins without worrying that you are harming your teeth.
Just like milk, cheese contains high amounts of calcium that help to strengthen your teeth. However, cheese has a few special properties that make it even more beneficial to your dental health than milk. Cheese is very good at neutralizing acids from the foods you eat as well as those produced by dental bacteria. Unlike drinking milk, the process of biting and chewing cheese will stimulate saliva production, inhibiting plaque growth and helping to dislodge clinging bacteria.
Eating a mouth-healthy diet involves more than avoiding foods that are bad for your teeth; You should also actively include foods that are good for your dental health. Keep these tips in mind so that you can maintain the bright, healthy smile that you deserve.Share