As I tell my patients here at ProDent Care, what we eat has a huge effect not just on our overall health, but also on the health of our mouths. Our diet and nutrition can help protect our gums and teeth every bit as much as brushing and flossing every day. Some foods even contain nutrients that keep your mouth healthy and plaque-free.
Here are five great foods that you — and your mouth — can enjoy!
- Green and black tea
Both green and black tea contain compounds called polyphenols, which have been found to help lessen the growth of bacteria in your mouth. As a result, drinking green and black tea can decrease the amount of plaque on your teeth.
Almonds and other nuts contain plant-based protein in addition to a plethora of other nutrients, such as zinc, calcium, and magnesium. All of these nutrients are good for your teeth, and calcium specifically helps build strong bones and reintroduces minerals to your teeth.
Saliva is a crucial part of mouth health and nothing makes your mouth water like delicious cheese and dairy products. Dairy is so high in calcium and phosphates that these foods not only taste good, but also help your body to remineralize your teeth. So make sure you're eating a lot of calcium-rich foods. Cheese can also help decrease the amount of acid in your mouth. Add in some cheddar cheese as a snack or milk with your dinner, and you’ll be good to go!
There’s no question that veggies are crucial for your health, but raw onions are surprisingly good for your teeth. Onions contain antimicrobial sulfur-containing compounds that diminish the number of bacteria in your mouth. It may not be easy to just chomp into a raw onion, so mix it into salads with tasty dressings to ease the bite.
- Fibrous foods (like apples or celery)
As the old saying goes: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples and other high-fiber foods like celery are great for keeping your mouth healthy. Since both apples and celery are chewy and fibrous, eating them creates a scrubbing effect that helps to wipe your mouth clean of oral bacteria. Also, because of the amount of chewing required, these foods help stimulate saliva production. So here's a new adage: Eat an apple a day to keep plaque away!
Pro tip: Stop snacking
Due to saliva production in your mouth, studies have shown that snacking isn’t the best thing for your oral health. When you eat a full meal, your mouth produces more saliva to help wash what you’re eating and in turn, that saliva breaks down acids in your food. Snacking, on the other hand, can dry out your mouth. So, if you must snack, just try to choose something healthy — that makes you salivate a lot!
Keeping your mouth healthy doesn’t stop at eating foods that are good for your gums and teeth. Dr. Tereza Hambarchian and her team at ProDent Care are here to answer any other questions you may have. The ProDent team is also available if you’d like to get a checkup to see how your teeth and gums are doing.
Notes: Below find some helpful articles for reference