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Food and Teeth: Oral Health with Dr. Zhang Minguan

What we often don’t take away from health classes or sessions with your dentist at the clinic is that the way we eat actually shapes a lot about our oral health! Sure, you’d like your teeth as white as the model on the billboard advertising a new toothpaste brand. You know, there’s no kidding when you’ve even bought the same one trying to take a step closer to achieving great if not perfect teeth. In today’s advice and Q & A session with Dr. Zhang Minguan, a specialist in oral health, we discuss why food plays a role in oral health. “And a rather significant one”, says Dr. Minguan.

How does food influence my teeth and oral health?

Food affects oral health in a very major way. It is a significant factor since it affects the production of saliva and removal of leftover food particles etc. Dr. Zhang’s advice would be to consume whole grain bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, and a good amount of protein. It’d also be great for your oral health if you consume firm, coarse, moist and fibrous foods to affect the significant factors mentioned before in a positive manner.

What are some of the best foods for my teeth and why?

The best foods to intake for your teeth should be ones that help them stay strong and keep your mouth bacteria and acid free. Even though there might be a few restrictions due to certain allergies, they are plenty of options. Starting from dairy products like yogurt and cheese to all different kinds of nuts. Don’t forget to add vegetables like carrots, celery and other leafy green vegetables as well. Oh and the classic example, apples! Lean proteins sound good too! Apples offer hydration and fiber to your body. By choosing a healthy option like apples over unhealthy, sugary treats, you promote better production of saliva. Celery also helps teeth clean since it’s texture can scrapes leftover food particles and bacteria away from teeth. Not to ignore the fact that carrots and celery are a fantastic source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Why and how are dairy products beneficial to my teeth?

Dairy products, even though aren’t an allergy issue for most, are resented by many. But according to Zhang Minguan, are some of the most essential kind of foods required for your teeth. Starting with products like cheese, yogurt and milk which promote your body to have better saliva production as well as strengthening your teeth due to calcium and including giving you that necessary dose of probiotics. This, in fact, is beneficial to your gut and intestines too! Even if you have an allergy to a certain type, there are available choices like soy, almond, or cashew to pick from, happily! With that, you can make sure your dose of calcium and probiotics will be fulfilled!

What about leafy greens?

Vegetables with their many health benefits without being heavy or calorie-dense are something you can’t exclude from your diet for any reason at all. They supply vitamins and minerals that allow you to produce saliva and have a  clean mouth and healthy enamel.

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard, or collard greens are high in calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins, which help your health while being low in calories

Are Beverages just as vital for teeth?

We’ve talked enough about food, haven’t we? Moving on to beverages, we’d like to tell you, they’re just as important. Constantly sipping on or consuming sugary beverages like juice, soda, or wine, etc. feeds the bacteria present in your mouth. When the bacteria feed on the sugar on your teeth from these sweet and sugary drinks you consumed, they leave harmful acids behind. This is why Zhang Minguan would recommend drinking water over such beverages as well as restricting the amount of sugar you consume. 


Dr. Zhang Minguan has been in private practice since 2000 at 1010D, 10th Floor, Phase 1, Argyle Street Centre, 688 Nathan Road, Mong Kok. His dental practice is called Wong & Zhang Dental & Implant Practice.