Brushing and flossing twice daily for at least two minutes a time is essential to caring for our teeth; however, there’s a lot more than that that goes into a healthy smile. We’re not talking about fancy Invisalign or teeth whitening, but rather your diet. In fact, if you regularly indulge in sugary or starchy foods, this can result in bacteria building up in your mouth, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. With this being said, you need to know what sort of foods you should be eating to keep your teeth sparkling. Listed below are some of the best foods for a healthy smile.
Coffee and Tea
While coffee and tea have a bad reputation for staining teeth, they actually contain a category of chemicals called polyphenols. Polyphenols naturally occur in various foods and drinks, including coffee and teas. They come with multiple health benefits, one of which is that they’re antioxidants. Antioxidants can tackle cell damage and even reduce inflammation, helping us fight cancer. Of all the coffees and teas, black and green teas are the richest in polyphenols, and they also contain an array of other health benefits.
Meats and Fatty Fish
Not only are meat and fish rich in essential nutrients, but the chewing of such allows us to produce saliva. This saliva production is a positive thing, as it decreases the acidity in the mouth, washing away food particles. The washing away of food makes you less prone to tooth decay. Meanwhile, fatty fish and tofu are loaded with phosphorus, which is essential to protecting tooth enamel.
Thanks to elements like phosphorus and calcium, nuts are very beneficial to your teeth. This is especially true of cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds, as each of these is particularly effective for fighting the bacteria that results in tooth decay. Similarly, peanuts are great sources of vitamin D and calcium, each of which is beneficial to gums and teeth. Furthermore, cashews are capable of stimulating saliva, while walnuts are abundant in goodness. For instance, walnuts contain zinc, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, thiamine, iron, folic acid, and fiber.
Pears and Apples
While the adage states that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, the same might be true for the dentist. This is because, eating hard, fibrous fruits such as pears and apples can help clean your teeth and increase salivation, which neutralizes the acids in your mouth. With this being said, it’s essential that you stick to fresh apples and pears, as juices contain lots of sugar, which can result in cavities. It’s the neutralizing quality of pears and apples that sets them apart from other acidic fruits.
Whether it’s kale, lettuce, or spinach, leafy greens are abundant in minerals, vitamins, folic acid, and calcium. Each of these is very beneficial to your teeth, especially the crunchy greens that play a role in cleaning your teeth.
Since crunchy vegetables require lots of chewing, they can help you in cleaning your teeth’s surface. Some crunchy vegetables include carrots, celery, and more. These contain a significant amount of water, which stimulates saliva production and helps scrub away bacteria and food particles. What’s more, these vegetables contain some of the most important vitamins and minerals that your body requires.
In fact, celery is often regarded as the nearest thing to nature’s dental floss. This is because it has a fibrous and crunchy texture, which characterises it as a naturally effective teeth cleaner.
Meanwhile, carrots are abundant in nutrients, making them one of the best cavity-fighting vegetables. Similarly, they have large amounts of keratins, calcium, and vitamin C, each of which is extremely beneficial from a dental perspective. On top of this, fresh carrots act as natural toothbrushes, as when they combine with your saliva, they can wash away food particles and stain-causing bacteria.
There isn’t a better drink out there for you than water, and 60% of our bodies is made from it. Hydration is essential to our health, since it allows our bodies to keep muscles moving, provides us with a healthy glow, rids our bodies of waste, and aids our system in distributing healthy nutrients. Drinking plenty of water is essential to keeping your teeth healthy and is one of the most important aspects of fighting cavities. Similarly, water helps you maintain your saliva levels and wash away food particles.
Yogurt, Milk, and Cheese
Last but not least is products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese, as these foods are low in sugar and high in calcium. Additionally, they contain casein, which is effective for fortifying tooth enamel and also maintaining bone density. What’s more, the high phosphate contents of these foods mean they’re capable of balancing the mouth’s pH levels, helping to preserve enamel.