Great at-home oral hygiene is great, but to ensure you prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other such common oral health issues, you also need to maintain a healthy diet. But what is a “tooth-healthy” diet, and what foods should you try to eat more of in order to keep your smile healthy? Read on to get the details from Cardinal Family Dentistry.
Vegetables like celery, carrots, and broccoli are filling, low-calorie, and are packed with vitamins and other essential micronutrients. But they’re specifically good for your teeth because they basically act as “natural toothbrushes.”
When you chew a crunchy and fibrous vegetable like a carrot, the flesh of the vegetable can actually help scrub away other food particles and plaque from your teeth, which helps reduce your risk of cavities. So make sure to eat plenty of fresh, crunchy vegetables as part of your diet.
Healthy dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk are loaded with calcium, which is one of the most essential minerals for your tooth enamel. Most dairy products are also fortified with vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium properly for strong bones and teeth, so they provide a “double dose” of benefits.
Another reason is that dairy products like milk tend to be very “neutral” in pH. They’re only very slightly acidic. This means they can help neutralize acid in your mouth from other foods and drinks. In turn, this helps prevent cavities.
Similarly to carrots and celery, crunchy fruits like apples and pears help “scrub” your teeth and mouth while you eat them, and they’re also chock-full of helpful vitamins. You’ll also get lots of fiber if you eat the skin.
Sugary fruits also tend to make you salivate more than other foods like vegetables, which can help neutralize acid in the mouth and wash away food particles, so that’s another added benefit of these kinds of fruits.
Nuts are great for your teeth. Peanuts have lots of vitamin D and calcium, as do almonds. Other nuts like cashews and brazil nuts contain lots of great micronutrients that are hard to find in other foods, like selenium, magnesium, and potassium.
Just be careful when you eat nuts. Make sure to bite and chew hard nuts like almonds with your rear molars. Constantly biting and chewing nuts with your front teeth could lead to wear & tear or even chip your tooth, particularly if you have veneers or other dental work.
With a healthy diet, great at-home oral hygiene, and routine appointments with Dr. Sarah S. Barker at Cardinal Family Dentistry, you can keep your gums and teeth healthy. So don’t wait. If you need an appointment, just contact us online or give us a call at (919) 589-5001. We’re always accepting new patients in Apex, Cary, New Hill, and Holly Springs.