The foods you eat have a big impact on your health and the health of your mouth. Foods that are high in sugar like candy and soda contribute to tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, oral health is one of the first areas to decline in with a poor diet. Here are a few foods that you can eat to improve your oral hygiene.
There’s good news for the many people who love cheese. A 2013 study published in an issue of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raises the pH levels in the mouth and lowered the risk of tooth decay ( that mans the mouth becomes less acid). The chewing required to break up the cheese also slightly increased the saliva levels in the mouth, which help to rinse away bacteria and food particles. Cheese also contains calcium and protein which help refresh tooth enamel.
While apples and other fruits do have natural sugars, they’re also high in water and fiber. Eating an apple increases the production of saliva in the mouth and the fibrous texture can help stimulate the gums. Picking an apple as a snack after a lunchtime meal can help temporarily clean out your mouth before you have an opportunity to brush.
Yogurt, another dairy snack, is high in calcium and protein, which like cheese, makes it a good option to improve the strength and health of your teeth. Yogurt also contains probiotics, or good bacteria, that can benefit your gums by replacing the bacteria that causes tooth decay and cavities. Try to opt for plain yogurt when you can to avoid added sugar that’s bad for your teeth.
Leafy greens such as spinach or kale are full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, and can also promote oral health. Like other foods on this list, they’re high in calcium, and they also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that can helps limit gum disease.
Almonds are a good snack for your teeth because they’re low in sugar and high in protein and calcium. Adding them to a salad or a meal or simply enjoying them alone with lunch can be a good way to supplement your oral health-conscious diet.
Carrots act like apples by being a fibrous snack that can help clean your mouth, but carrots have even less sugar than apples. They’re also a great source of vitamin A which can contribute to better gum health.
Celery has a high water and fiber content, acting similarly to carrots and apples to help scrape away food particles and bacteria from your teeth. It also contains vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that improve gum health.
Adding dairy, leafy greens, and fibrous fruits and vegetables to your diet can go a long way when trying to improve your dental health, especially if they replace unhealthy snacks. Also be sure to watch what you’re drinking; water is always the best option since it has no calories and sugar, compared to sugar-loaded juices and sodas, and teas that only have negative effects on your teeth.
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