Whether you’re packing lunch for yourself or your children, it’s wise to keep dental health in mind. Although brushing your teeth after every meal helps fight off cavities, eating at school or work can make brushing and flossing impractical.
These dentist-approved foods are packed with nutrients to support your dental health:
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Crunchy fruits and vegetables can act as a toothbrush, clearing plaque from teeth and freshening your breath. Pick fruit loaded with Vitamin C, which strengthens the collagen in your gums. Carrots, apples and celery are also good choices. Chewing on these crunchy foods stimulates saliva production, helping to clear your mouth of bacteria. This reduces the likelihood of cavity development.
- Dairy: Dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt are full of calcium, which strengthens teeth, jawbones and prevents tooth decay. Adding string cheese or a yogurt cup to your meal will help you reach your recommended daily intake. Can’t eat dairy? Almonds are also rich in calcium.
- Lean protein: Choose lean proteins such as chicken to help build and protect tooth enamel. Adding plenty of protein to your meal has the added advantage of keeping you feeling fuller, longer. When you properly fuels, you’ll be less tempted to snack on sugary foods. Hardboiled eggs and tuna fish are full of protein, but they also have plenty of Vitamin D, which is necessary for the body to absorb calcium and protein. Tuna salad sandwiches are easy to transport and enjoy on the go.
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens like kale, spinach and lettuce are great for your teeth. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which support your overall dental health. Plus, they’re full of dietary fiber, which helps you to feel full, and avoid unhealthy snacking.
Avoid these foods and beverages
When you’re packing lunch, avoid chewy, sticky and sugary foods. They can stick to and between your teeth, which increases the likelihood of developing cavities. Sugary foods can provide a temporary boost of energy, but they won’t keep you full and fueled throughout the day.
Similarly, skip sugary juice and sodas. They’re especially bad for children’s teeth, which are softer and more susceptible to decay than adult teeth. Tea and coffee may help you to stay awake, but they also stain teeth.
Dental health on the go
If you can’t bring a toothbrush with you, consider packing dental floss picks. Removing food from between your teeth will help prevent cavity formation. Rinse your mouth with water after your meal, or whenever you drink coffee or tea. This will help clear bacteria from your mouth and prevent enamel stains.
Protecting your dental health on the go is easier than you think. Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water will support your overall health and protect against tooth decay and gum disease. If you have questions about how your diet affects your dental health, talk to your Fioritto dentist at your next checkup.
Whether you need a routine checkup or other dental care, Fioritto Family Dental is here to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment.