We've all heard the saying, "you are what you eat." Well, when it comes to the health of your mouth, that is a very accurate statement. Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial for overall health and well-being, of course, but one of the first symptoms of a bad diet is poor oral health. Join us in our two-part "You are what you eat" series as we discuss the best and worst habits when it comes to oral health and diet.
Who doesn't love cheese? In addition to offering calcium and protein, hard cheeses such as cheddar tend to raise the pH level- which means lower acidity- lowering the risk of tooth decay. Nutrients within cheese also strengthen tooth enamel. Get even more calcium with yogurt, low-fat milk, and seafood.
Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals which are important for healthy body, including calcium. They also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet, add a handful of baby spinach to your next salad or throw some kale on a pizza. You can also try adding some greens to a smoothie.
Although they are sweet, apples are also high in fiber and water. Chewing increase saliva production which rinses away bacteria and food particles. Apples also stimulate the gums with their fibrous texture. While brushing is always best, apples- or apple slices- are great to pack in with your lunch. Eat them after your lunch to help break down food particles that were left behind. If you don't have an apple, you can substitute with celery, carrots, and cucumbers for the same effect.
Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, which aids in overall health of gums by helping to prevent collagen from breaking down. They also contain malic acid, a naturally occurring astringent that, in moderate amounts, can actually break down stains on teeth.
Chewing sugarless gum increases production of saliva by 10x the normal rate, rinsing and neutralizing acids. In addition, gum containing xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans.
Stay tuned for the next blog, where we will discuss foods that are bad for your teeth.