Foods For Healthy Teeth and Gums

 In Ask Dr. Smallwood, Dental Tips, Oral Health

There have been some amazing advancements in the past decade in the dental world. From general care, whitening techniques, and safer, longer-lasting procedures keeping your teeth in tip-top shape, We have more ways to take care of our oral health than ever before. Americans collectively spend roughly 111 Billion dollars a year on dental care products, and we are always on the search for the best products that will last longer, and have the best effects. Though there are amazing toothbrushes, floss, waterpiks, and other tools that are essential to use every day, there are also great ways that we can take care of our teeth besides products.

Nutrition and healthy eating habits play a big part of our overall health, and definitely play a big part of our oral health. Healthy decisions in what we eat not only provide essential nutrients for better health, they can actually help your gums and teeth on a daily basis. Here is a list of 5 foods that can help you have happier and healthier teeth and gums.

Dairy
Quite obvious on this first one, you’ve heard it. Dairy, including milk and yogurt, have a great source of calcium. We all know that calcium helps keep our bones healthy and strong, and calcium also has many other great properties for overall health.  Another great proponent of calcium is Casein. It is a great neutralizer of oral acids, which can cause issues for your teeth’s enamel and gum tissues. Not a fan of dairy? There are other foods such as almonds, beans & Legumes, and leafy greens that also have a great source of calcium.

Onions
OK, I know what you are thinking…  “onions are horrible for your breath!” Right? Well, that may be true, but let’s first talk about the amazing property that onions bring. Onions neutralize oral bacteria. Their microbial properties target bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. So, with that being said, have your onions! Brush afterwards, or chew on a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odors.

Healthy Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
hard, crunchy vegetables are not just for salads anymore! These healthy eats, such as carrots, celery and apples are great for your teeth and gums. They are perfect at helping scrape away stuck on food and plaque, and due to the high fiber, cause us to chew more, creating more saliva, which helps remove those pesky stuck-on properties on your teeth and gums. These foods can also help your mouth feel fresh between brushing, making them a perfect snack in between meals.

Green Tea
Green tea is antioxidant-rich, and full of great properties for overall health. Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, and because of its polyphenols called “Catechins”, a disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant, it not only helps fight inflammation in your gums, it also helps with any inflammation through out your body, including your organs, cardiovascular system, which are all connected together.  Start your day with a nice cup of green tea!

Vitamin C Rich Foods
Your immune system is obviously an important part of your overall health. There are definite links to your immune system and your gums. Many folks who have immunity issues tend to have issues with their teeth and gums, including periodontal disease. Vitamin C is a key factor in building and feeding your immune system, and one of the best ways to get your daily C is through natural foods such a citrus, broccoli, peppers, and Acerola Cherries! Get your C in, and give your gums and teeth a fighting chance at fighting diseases with a healthy immune system.

Sure, eating healthy foods help us feel and look better, however there are always small things, especially with our oral health, that food can help in making a huge, long-lasting difference, truly making your smile healthy and contagious!

Keep on Smiling!

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