As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” No, that doesn’t mean you’re going to turn into instant ramen or that your blood will slowly turn into coffee—even if you enjoy these things every day. What it really means is that your body will work with the fuel you give it, so you need to carefully consider what you’re eating. This is especially true for your teeth. Some foods are great for your teeth—they help build strong enamel, reduce gum inflammation and fight the bad bacteria in your mouth that can lead to cavities. The next time you book a dentist appointment ask your dentist at Fioritto Family Dental what foods they recommend for healthy teeth. Here are a few they’re likely to mention:
- Cheese: Cheese is first and foremost a probiotic—it stimulates good bacteria, which is good for digestion and oral health. It’s also low in sugar and high in calcium, promoting stronger teeth. It even balances acidity levels in the mouth, to prevent premature erosion of enamel! When it comes to oral health, cheese is kind of super food!
- Crunchy veggies: The crunch of a fresh carrot or a juicy bell pepper is satisfying on so many levels—including for oral health. Veggies scrape away plaque while you chew them, acting as a natural toothbrush. They also stimulate saliva production, which is good for your gums. High fiber and vitamins promote strong, healthy teeth.
- Apples and pears: To throw out another old saying, “an apple a day keeps the dentist away.” It’s true! Apples and pears both stimulate saliva production, neutralize acids and clean your teeth while you chew them. Enjoy freshly-picked apples and pears for best results, and avoid overindulging on extra-sugary varieties.
- Nuts: Many types of nuts are hugely beneficial for the health of your teeth. For example, walnuts contain a ton of healthy vitamins that benefit strong teeth—including fiber, folic acid, iron and potassium, among others. Brazil nuts and cashews fight bacteria. Even peanuts (unsalted) are great for calcium and vitamin D.
Mixing these foods in with your regular diet is a great way to improve the strength and health of your teeth—not to mention help you maintain a well-rounded diet! The above four foods are also far from the only foods that promote healthy teeth. Fatty fish, lean meats, leafy greens and whole grains offer health benefits. And, of course, the very best thing you can do is drink plenty of water every day!
When it comes to foods you shouldn’t eat, the list is filled with items you already know are bad! Here’s what to stay away from if you want to keep your pearly whites nice and healthy:
- Soda, soft drinks and other carbonated beverages
- Candy—especially sticky candies that get stuck in teeth
- Potato chips and popcorn
- Excess citrus, like lemonades or grapefruit juice
Even if you avoid all these foods and eat only good, healthy foods, you’ll still need to keep up on a great brushing routine…. And don’t forget to schedule bi-annual appointments with your favorite dentist at Fioritto Dental!