We all know that daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing are essential for a healthy smile, but nutrition also plays an important role in your dental health. Poor nutrition can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. Researchers have also linked oral diseases to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The food we eat supplies the nutrients that the body, bones, teeth, and gums need to renew tissues and help fight infection and disease.
While proper nutrition with a balanced diet of nutritious foods promotes healthy teeth and gums. Eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups provides essential nutrients for optimum oral health as well as overall health.
Fruits and Vegetables
Some of the best foods for healthy teeth are fresh fruits and veggies because of their nutritional and mouth health benefits. Foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach, are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber.
Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots, and celery, help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Plus, chewing helps stimulate saliva production that washes away food particles and acids that can lead to tooth decay.
Sugary drinks like soda, lemonade, and sports drinks contain extra calories and high levels of sugar. When the sugar mixes with the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth, an acid is created. It’s this acid that can destroy the enamel and can lead to tooth decay. Water is better for your overall health than those sugary drinks. It also cleans your mouth and washes away leftover food and residue that can lead to cavities.
The fluoride in the water also provides your teeth with a coating to defend against acids and reverse tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, “Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That’s because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities.”
One of the most important nutrients for strong and healthy teeth is calcium. It plays a vital role in the growth of bones. Our teeth and supporting jawbones are largely made up of calcium. When not enough of the mineral is consumed, our bodies take the calcium it needs from our bones, which can weaken them. It strengthens the hard outer shell of your tooth called enamel, which is your teeth’s defense against erosion and cavities and keeps your gums healthy.
Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are low in sugar and contain calcium that helps strengthen bones and teeth. For those who are lactose intolerant, calcium can be found in canned fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, tofu, and beans.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. It keeps your body, muscles, and teeth included, strong, and protects against wear and tear. Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts, and beans.
Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth. They are packed with tons of important elements like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus.
Nuts are low in sugar and provide essential nutrients for strong, healthy teeth. Chewing also helps stimulate saliva production and scrape away food particles.
If you do snack, choose foods that are low in sugar and are not hard or sticky. Instead, choose nutritious foods like raw vegetables, fruits, plain yogurt, and popcorn.
Remember to brush after eating or snacking. If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of food particles.
Eating a wide variety of healthy foods, including includes fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains, dairy and plenty of water provides essential nutrients needed to have healthy teeth and gums is an excellent way to prevent tooth decay and promote oral health.
JR Dental has four convenient locations serving Jacksonville, Florida. We believe in treating our patients with quality care. We are here to answer any questions you might have regarding your dental health. Call us today at (904) 786-5850 or schedule an appointment.