One of the most commonly asked questions in dental visits isn’t how to clean your teeth – it’s how you can keep your pearly whites naturally clean and healthy by eating the right diet.
Enjoying a great smile isn’t just about regular checkups and great dental hygiene (although they play a large part a well). What you eat and drink can be a big factor in how healthy and clean your teeth look. It’s one of the best things you can control that has a direct impact on the aesthetic of your smile.
It’s similar to maintaining a fit and healthy physique. Exercise is only one piece of the puzzle – it’s only by looking after your body with clean eating that the real results start to show up. Your teeth are no different, and it’s crucial that you look after them the same way you would a healthy body.
And just like with your body, a healthy diet with the right ingredients will keep your teeth and gums strong long into the future. Once your adult teeth show up and your baby set falls out, you’re stuck with the same ones for life. Paying attention to what you eat or drink now will lower your dental costs and ensure you don’t end up needing anything replaced.
If you don’t eat right, your risk of gum disease, bone loss, tooth decay and damage greatly increases, especially as you grow older.
So what should you include in your diet to keep your smile looking bright and healthy? Here’s a list of foods and drinks to consider adding to your weekly shopping list.
Foods With Calcium
Including sources of calcium in your diet helps build your teeth enamel. This is the outer part of the tooth and is made up mainly of minerals. It protects your teeth from decay due to things like acid and plaque.
What to eat: yoghurt, cheese, milk (low fat), almonds, tofu, and seafood.
Vegetables with a little crunch have a high water content, which helps wash away food particles. Chewing also creates saliva which fights bacteria, and the texture of these types of foods help to clean the surface of your teeth, removing excess plaque. Reach for something raw for the best effects.
What to eat: carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks, capsicum, apples and raw green vegetables.
Foods With Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a superhero when it comes to your health. It keeps your blood vessels strong, produces collagen and helps reduce inflammation, all of which keep your gums nice and healthy. Leaving Vitamin C out of your diet can increase the risk of periodontal disease.
What to eat: kale, strawberries, kiwi fruit, broccoli, oranges.
Foods With Vitamin D
There’s a reason health professionals talk about your Vitamin D levels so much – it helps your body fight diseases like cancer and diabetes, and is key to the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It’s most popularly also linked to happiness and reduced depression. For your teeth, it’s most useful for its support of your calcium levels, so it’s a great all-rounder for your overall health.
What to eat: fish and eggs (and get plenty of sunlight).
Foods With Antioxidants
Antioxidants are what make berries so good for you. In short, they protect the body from ‘free radicals’ which are a factor in the development of many harmful diseases. Part of this is their ability to fight inflammation and gum diseases like periodontal disease. If you’re not eating enough berries in your diet, today is the day to start!
What to eat: berries (the richer in colour, the better), apples, grapes, beans, and nuts.
Foods With Phosphorus
Phosphorus is another large building block in the creation of tooth enamel which keeps nasties from eating away at your choppers. In addition to the calcium rich foods, they should also be given celebrity status in your diet for a healthy mouth.
What to eat: red meat, eggs, tofu, nuts, and seeds.
Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
Provided it’s not laced with high sugar levels, gum and other chewy substances are great for stimulating saliva production in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away acids that turn into the bacteria that can harm teeth over time. To sweeten the deal of sugar-free gum a little, many types contain xylitol which contributes to the reduction of bacteria even more.
What to chew: sugar-free gum without artificial flavouring (mint is ok).
If you start throwing some of the above foods into your weekly shopping trolley, you’ll be on your way to better oral health, a brighter smile, longer lasting teeth and fewer emergency trips to the dentist. Having said that, your regular checkups are still important to ensure your teeth are professionally cleaned and looking their best. To book your next appointment, contact dhealth today.