10 Foods and drinks with oral health benefits
April 3, 2023
Maintaining oral health is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and the foods and drinks we consume play an integral role in maintaining good dental hygiene. While brushing and flossing are the foundations of good oral hygiene, including foods that offer additional benefits to our diet can further improve our dental wellbeing.
Sugar and Dental Health
Consuming sugary foods and drinks is a leading cause of dental problems. When sugar mixes with bacteria in our mouths, it produces acids which attack tooth enamel resulting in cavities or decay. The longer food and drink remain in our mouths, the greater damage done to our teeth. Therefore, it's recommended to limit the consumption of sweet drinks and snacks, particularly between meals.
Proper Cleaning Techniques
Brushing and flossing are the foundational steps in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but if not done correctly they can leave food particles and bacteria behind in your mouth. To minimize the risk of harm from bacteria, it's best to brush at least twice a day for two or three minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste. Flossing helps clean areas between teeth where your brush cannot reach; thus it is essential to use proper techniques when brushing or flossing as well as visiting a dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
Top 10 Foods and Drinks for Oral Health Benefits:
- Cheese: Cheese contains casein, a protein rich in calcium that helps strengthen tooth enamel and guards against cavities.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, strengthening teeth and bones. Plus, its probiotics help reduce harmful bacteria found in the mouth.
- Apples: Apples contain high fiber levels that encourage saliva production and help combat harmful acids.
- Carrots: Carrots contain high levels of vitamin A, which helps protect teeth by maintaining their enamel.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce contain folic acid which may help protect against gum disease and inflammation.
- Nuts: Nuts are packed with essential minerals like calcium and iron that support healthy teeth and gums.
- Green Tea: Green tea contains polyphenols which reduce bacteria in the mouth, leading to healthy teeth and gums.
- Water: Drinking plenty of water helps to flush away any acid or sugar deposits in the mouth.
- Celery: Celery has fibrous strands and a high water content, leading to saliva production which helps combat acidity.
- Cranberries: Cranberries contain polyphenols which prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth, thus reducing plaque buildup.
By including these foods and drinks into your daily diet, you are providing your body with essential nutrients and enzymes for maintaining oral health, thus decreasing the likelihood of long-term dental issues.
The mouth is the gateway to our health, and oral health plays a significant role in maintaining it. Eating less sugary snacks and beverages, brushing and flossing properly, as well as incorporating oral health-beneficial foods and drinks into our diets, can all help promote good oral hygiene - helping prevent future dental issues. It's never too late to start taking care of your oral hygiene; having a healthy mouth leads to overall well-being - from improved concentration and focus to reduced stress levels.