Taking care of your teeth should not end in regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. You can further increase your efforts in maintaining oral health in the careful selection of your food. Improve your health habits and start paying more attention to your food intake as they are also an excellent investment to increase your teeth’ longevity and keep them healthy. As you start a new regimen to take care of your teeth, also consider having dental implants. They provide an additional layer that protects the tooth enamel.
Here are some food groups that help maintain oral health. You may be surprised that we can easily find them in the supermarket but have just ignored them for more unhealthy options.
The Good Guys
Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
There are more reasons to eat fiber-enriched fruits and vegetables. Besides being a useful aid in digestion and bowel movement, fiber-rich fruits and veggies help take care of your teeth. The fiber in this food group maintains cleanliness in your teeth, gums, and whole mouth. A daily intake of fruits and veg protects teeth from cavities and gum disease, reducing the effects of acids and enzymes from other foods. Fruits and vegetables also react well with saliva and help restore calcium traces and minimal in areas of teeth.
Green and juicy leafy vegetables are one of the best representatives in this group. Consider including cabbage, chard, and collard greens on your plate to boost oral health. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce contain essential nutrients that activate phosphorous stored in your teeth and bones.
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products
This food group is rich in protein and calcium that makes teeth stronger. A daily intake of milk and dairy products won’t harm your teeth as they are low in sugar, an acid-inducing substance that will only weaken your teeth. Instead, milk lowers the mouth’s acid level and protects it from tooth decay. Cheese increase saliva production and also aids in washing bacteria off. Aside from having a pleasant taste, yogurt also takes care of the gums from bacteria. In consuming these products, make sure to choose the plain variety with no added sugary or fruity taste.
Green and black tea
One can also derive fluoride from black and green tea, which further enhances the tooth enamel’s health. Besides fluoride, tea also has polyphenols that reduce gum inflammation and disease. As these micronutrients kill bacteria, your mouth will smell good and not have bad breaths even without eating mint or gum.
Meanwhile, one must be careful and regulate the amount of tea intake. Tea has tannin, a yellow or brownish substance that may stain teeth, making it yellowish in the long run. To prevent teeth from going yellowish, make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after a cup of tea. Also, be sure not to eat sugary foods while drinking tea. Consider skipping the lemon, sugar, or honey for optimum benefits.
Sugarless chewing gum
Chewing sugarless gum will increase saliva production in your mouth without leaving any sugar residues. People have been consuming chewing gums since ancient times to maintain oral health. The practice continues until today with more improved chewing gum products. After a meal, a piece of chewing gum increases salivary flow and helps neutralize acids that may have accumulated while eating.
Fluoride is an essential mineral that helps in taking care of your teeth. As fluoride gains more importance, experts add the substance in water, powdered juices, and dehydrated soups. One can also find fluoride in poultry products, seafood, and powdered cereals.
Further, there are certain brands of sodas that contain fluoride. Seafood, such as crabs, shrimps, and other food such as cooked oatmeal, chocolate almond milk, cooked carrots, cooked spinach, white rice, and asparagus are also rich in fluoride.
The Bad Guys
Meanwhile, watch out for food that weakens your teeth.
Sticky candies and sweets such as lollipops, caramels, and cough drop
These foods have refined sugar that will leave acid in your mouth and weaken tooth enamel. Dark chocolate may be a better alternative. Just make sure it contains less sugar.
Starchy foods such as soft bread and potato chips
They may be harmful when stuck in between your teeth. They leave particles that may lead to cavity formation later on.
Carbonated soft drinks
They contain lots of sugar and have phosphoric and citric acids that lower tooth health.
Alcohol and some medicines
These substances may dry your mouth. Talk about it with your dentist and opt to get a fluoride rinse if you are currently taking potent medication.
Oral health is paramount in taking care of other vital organs in the body. Bad oral hygiene may lead to the formation of serious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, dementia, respiratory infections, diabetes, and pregnancy complications later on. Regularly include in your habits that take care of your teeth. Remember, as you take care of your teeth, it will also take care of you.