A lot of times when we think of taking care of our teeth and eating we think about avoiding certain foods. However, there are many fresh foods that actually help our teeth which we should include in our diet.
Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.
The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.For dental health, it’s recommended that people limit eating and drinking between meals. Of course, sometimes eating between meals must happen. Unfortunately, most people choose foods like sweets and chips for snacks; foods that harm teeth by promoting tooth decay. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables or nuts—for your overall health and the health of your teeth.
Fruits and vegetables are good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from teeth and helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth from decay.
Fruits and veggies contain a lot of the vitamins needed for healthy teeth, such as vitamin C and vitamin A. Inadequate vitamin C can promote bleeding gums that can develop into gingivitis if left untreated. Vitamin C also helps the body perform maintenance and repair on bones, teeth, and cartilage, and it also helps wounds heal. Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, kiwi and strawberries are especially high in vitamin C and vitamin A.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that the body doesn’t store it long-term and you need to consume it every day. Vitamin A is a key nutrient in building tooth enamel.
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens and almonds, are foods that may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus. Both of these minerals play a critical role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.
Source: Mouth Healthy brought to you by the American Dental Association