The health of your teeth and gums, to a large extent, is determined by what you eat. Include too much of processed sugar and get ready to fight tooth decay. While you might have heard a lot about the must-skip-foods from your dentist, they hardly talk about the foods that do wonders for your teeth and gums.
Well, that’s perhaps why we thought of compiling a list of 15 foods which are actually good for your oral health.
1. Hard cheese to your rescue
A die-hard cheese lover? Well, you just got another reason to grab this wonderful food! Cheese is one of the best sources of calcium and phosphorus which are good for your teeth. These elements help build the teeth enamel. Studies show that having cheese raises the pH level in the mouth thereby reducing the chances of tooth decay. This is because chewing the hard cheese produces more saliva which washes off the bacteria in the mouth.
2. Extract the goodness of yogurt
Yogurt, like cheese, is rich in calcium and phosphorus that make teeth strong. Being a probiotic food, it contains good bacteria that are necessary for healthy gums. The beneficial bacteria eliminate the bad ones. The best way to include this food in your diet is to have plain unsweetened yogurt. It is also effective in fighting against bad breath and cavities.
3. Apples to keep dentist away
You might argue that apple is sweet, and could have detrimental effects on your oral health. Well, not exactly! This is because apple is also a rich source of fiber and water. When you eat an apple, more saliva is produced which helps wash away the food particles and bacteria. The fruit is good at maintaining healthy gums owing to its fibrous texture. Having an apple every day gives your teeth a scrubbing effect. It contains many nutrients that are good for the body as well.
4. Crunchy Carrots
Munching crunchy carrots is always a fun. But apart from that, carrots are also found to have positive effects on our oral health. They contain many nutrients like vitamin A and fiber which help in fighting against cavities. Finishing your meal with some carrots produces saliva which keeps the mouth clean. You can have a salad topped with carrots or alternatively, chew some raw baby carrots on the go.
5. Snack on a few almonds on the go
Dentists recommend almonds for your teeth as they contain a good amount of protein and calcium in them. They contain very less sugar, making them a healthy snack. You can have some almonds along with your meal or mix them in salads. You might also like to snack on a few almonds between meals.
6. Green leafy vegetables
Nothing can replace the goodness of green leafy vegetables when it comes to health. They are low in calories but, contain a high amount of minerals and vitamins. Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and the likes are rich sources of calcium which ensure healthy teeth. Green vegetables also contain folic acid which keeps gum diseases away.
7. Go nuts over nuts
Nuts contain a lot of nutrients which are good for your teeth and gums. They contain calcium and phosphorus that make your teeth stronger. Nuts like cashews and Brazil nuts help get rid of bacteria that cause the decay of the tooth. However, peanut butter might not be a safe option as it contains sugar.
8. Oranges to whiten teeth
Orange is a citrus fruit which contains vitamin C. Even though it is citrus, it contains very less acid. So, it is considered good for oral health. Rubbing orange peel on your teeth for several weeks in a row is found to whiten teeth. The chemical in the orange peel whitens your teeth, thus giving your teeth a fresh appearance.
9. Garlic clove for infections
The presence of a compound called allicin prevents the risk of tooth decay due to its anti-microbial properties. Garlic is also found to be effective against various oral problems like a toothache. Chewing a garlic clove gives relief from the pain and helps build immunity to fight infection. This also reduces inflammation and any associated discomfort.
10. Reap the amazing benefits of ginger
Ginger fights the bacteria in the mouth in an effective way and thereby eliminates bad breath. It kills the bacteria that cause gum diseases. It works against infections and thus promotes oral health. Being a natural remedy for tooth infections, it is suitable for both children and adults alike.
11. Celery as a scrub
Like apple, celery is a good tooth scrub which washes away bacteria and food particles from the teeth. It can be considered as natural floss which keeps the teeth clean. It is high in vitamin A and vitamin C that are good for healthy gums. Being a nutritious vegetable, celery boosts the production of saliva.
12. Say hello to soy
Soy contains arginine, an amino acid which prevents the formation of plaque and cavities in teeth. It is also good for the health of gums. Having soy milk is a good option as it is very nutritious. People who don’t like to drink cow’s milk can opt for soy milk.
13. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich sources of vitamin A which is considered to be good for your gums and teeth enamel. Sweet potatoes make the soft gum tissues and the mucous membranes healthy. The vitamin contained in them maintains the level of protein keratin which helps form teeth enamel. These can be included in your food in any form like mashed, baked or steamed. Thus, it is only logical to replace the white potatoes with sweet potatoes.
14. Coffee made black
This is contradictory to the belief that coffee is bad for your teeth. Studies show that black coffee works against the decay of the teeth and stops the formation of plaque. But, remember to make your coffee black without sugar.
15. Dark chocolates to fight bacteria
Yes, you read that right. As per a recent study, dark chocolate helps fight tooth decay and prevent cavities from happening. It also keeps plaque away from teeth. Components in cocoa bean husk contain antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth. So, these properties compensate for the sugar content in dark chocolates. Research also shows that the cocoa extract is even better than the fluoride which is an important ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Over to You
Like the ones given above, there are a number of food items that are good for oral health. Along with having the right food, you may consider practicing good oral habits like flossing, brushing and scraping the tongue. Neglecting oral health is a sure sign of getting your first dentures. While you can still take care of your teeth, it is better to avoid thinking about dentures.
What are your views on this? Did you try the above-mentioned foods and were they good enough to boost your oral health? Do let us know in the comments!