While it is really helpful to have a habit of cleaning your teeth through brushing and flossing every after meal, when you wake up or just before you sleep, studies have shown that there are certain foods which may aid in maintaining the health of your teeth.
Contrary to the usual list of food which does damage your teeth like candies, there are also foods which are actually good for your teeth. Listed below are eight foods known to be effective in improving or maintaining good oral health.
1. Sugarless Gum
Although being sugarless is a factor for good oral health, it is not the primary advantage of chewing this type of gum. This is considered a promoter for healthier teeth because chewing a gum, in turn, boosts saliva production. But what does that have to do with good teeth? Well, saliva secretion, which is enhanced while chewing a gum, is beneficial to the mouth because saliva plays an important role in washing out harmful bacteria from your mouth. But remember, chewing gum is only good if it is sugarless!
There is no question as to why milk made this list. Since milk is undeniably rich in calcium, it is nothing less than helpful in building stronger teeth and bones. Aside from this, a study has shown that a glass of milk can lower acid levels in the mouth. It should be noted, however, that when mixed with cereals, the milk is sweetened and becomes bad for the teeth.
Even if raisins are naturally sweet, it has been established that the dried grape does not contain table sugar or in other words sucrose which is the one that helps bacteria stick to the surface of your teeth. On the contrary, raisins are a great source of the so-called phytochemicals known for killing cavity-causing bacteria. With these, it can be said that raisins make up a good snack that helps clean your teeth.
Salmon or fatty fishes, in general, are popularly known for their vitamin D content. This is good news because vitamin D helps in protecting both the teeth and gums from diseases. Other than this, Vitamin D also aids in calcium use and absorption. However, the recommended serving for fatty fishes like wild salmons is 2 servings per week or around 3.5 oz. (cooked) per week.
5. Carrots and Celery
Carrots and celery and other healthy and crunchy foods which require some serious chewing are somehow good for the teeth. This is in line with the fact that chewing is an effective mean to cleanse your mouth through saliva secretion and displacing dental plaque. As mentioned, any crispy veggies or fruits may do but carrots and celery, in particular, are recommended because they are low in sugar plus they may freshen your breath.
Cranberries are recommended in promoting good teeth health because they contain polyphenols. These are compounds that help in preventing plaque from sticking to the surface of your teeth. Consequently, it may lower the risk of cavities. It should be noted that this particular benefit of cranberry is not provided for by most cranberry products in the market since these often contain added sugar or sweetener.
Calcium containing foods which may include but not limited to milk, leafy greens and cheese are undeniably helpful in keeping tooth enamel not only strong but also healthy. This is because calcium helps deposit minerals into the lesion created by acidic food and beverages.
7. Green Leafy Vegetables
Aside from the crunchy vegetables mentioned above, leafy vegetables are also good for the teeth because of their folic acid content. Vegetables like lettuce and spinach contain folic acid, a part of the vitamin B family, which is well known for its cell growth promotion which results to a healthier mouth. This is partnered with their calcium content.
Yes, cheese is helpful because it is made from milk which is rich in calcium which is also good for the teeth. But this is not the only benefit of eating cheese. There have been studies done to prove and show that cheese can in fact significantly reduce or neutralize plaque acids in your mouth.
About the author:
Dr. Emily Pow was the previous Secretary and President of the Bendigo Oral Health and Dentistry Society. Now she practices in Australia at MyDental Group. You can visit www.mydentalgroup.com.au to know more about dental care.