While maintaining your oral health through brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist is crucial, your diet is just as important. Sugary foods, such as candy and soft drink, contribute to tooth decay. Starchy foods such as bread, potato chips and pasta are also linked to tooth decay as they break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth, producing acid in the process that breaks down tooth enamel, creating cavities.
Below are some food choices that are good for your teeth and may even help prevent or reverse dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
1. Crunchy Fruit and Vegetables
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, celery and cucumbers. Eating fresh, crunchy produce increases your intake of healthy fibre as well as being great for your teeth by stimulating saliva production and stimulating the jaw.
Cheese can combat the impact of acid erosion on teeth caused by carbohydrates, sugars and citrus. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouth, reducing their risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains calcium and protein which strengthen tooth enamel.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories and improving oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel as well as containing folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including treating gum disease in pregnant women.
Fatty fish (such a salmon) is a fantastic source of vitamin D, which is essential for your body to absorb calcium. This means eating fish can help you get the full disease-fighting benefits of calcium from the foods you eat.
Raisins are a source of phytochemicals, which is thought to kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Some compounds in raisins also negatively affect the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease. Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose that leads to plaque formation.
6. Green and Black Tea
Compounds called polyphenols in black and green teas slow the growth of cavity and gum disease-causing bacteria. Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago found those who rinsed their mouths with black tea for a minute, 10 times a day, had less plaque buildup on their teeth than people who rinsed their mouths with water. Cranberries also contain polyphenols. However, the fruit is so tart that cranberry products often contain a significant amount of sugar.
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At King Street Dental, our professional and friendly team of dentists have extensive experience with everything from dental cleans and teeth whitening to dental implants and orthodontic treatments. Visit our clinic in Templestowe for high quality general and specialised dental care for people of all ages.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.