Summer Foods That Are Healthy for Your Teeth
After the long, cold winter months, the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables at the store is a welcome sight. While there are many tempting options, it’s important to consider foods that are both delicious and healthy for your teeth. Knowing the best fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and drinks, along with the reasons why they benefit your teeth, will help you make healthier decisions this summer.
Nothing’s better during the summer than fresh fruit. Fruit smoothies are also a great way to pack in nutrients for your kids, or combine several into a fruit salad. If you’re looking for the best fruits for your teeth and your taste buds, here are a few we suggest.
- Apples and pears - Fibrous and act as a natural toothbrush
- Strawberries - High in vitamin C which minimizes inflammation
- Peaches - Naturally contain fluoride that prevents cavities
- Watermelon - Washes away bacteria in your mouth
- Kiwi - Full of calcium, which fights damaging acids and strengthens tooth enamel
Bananas are another great fruit, as they’re low in acidity and don’t contain seeds that can get stuck in your teeth. Bananas also contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese, which help strengthen your tooth’s enamel. For a great way to use bananas, try making healthy one-ingredient banana ice cream. Freeze your bananas when they start to brown and blend them when you need a cold treat. It’s easy, and your kids (and their teeth) will love it!
While fruits offer many health benefits, they are also high in natural sugars. It’s important to be mindful of the damage excessive sugar can have on your teeth. Fortunately, the impact on your teeth is much less than products with added sugars.
There are so many vegetables that have healthy benefits for your teeth, you might consider putting out a plate of veggies and dip at your next pool party! There are a multitude of healthy vegetables that are great to add into your diet.
- Carrots - Get rid of plaque and tartar when you chew
- Celery - Has fibers which generate mouth-cleansing saliva
- Bell peppers - High in vitamin C to strengthen your gums and prevent inflammation
- Squash - Contains calcium which strengthens teeth and prevent gum disease
- Leafy greens - Options like lettuce, kale, and spinach contain a variety of nutrients to help you improve oral health
Another top summer treat is avocados. The high levels of potassium in avocados keep your teeth strong and reduce the risk of tooth decay. Try some on toast with an egg, in a green smoothie with kale, or make guacamole and serve with chips!
There’s no better time to grill than during the summer. If you’re seeking the perfect meat to throw on the grill, consider lean options such as chicken and turkey. These are not only a great source of protein, but also contain phosphorus, which combines with calcium to improve tooth growth and repair.
Another excellent protein is fish. Salmon, sardines, and tuna are delicious and contain vitamin D, which helps your body process and retain calcium. Many fish also contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce oral inflammation and infection.
There are many positive dental benefits of eating dairy. Dairy contains calcium that builds stronger bones, casein protein which protects tooth surfaces, and phosphorus which supports tooth repair. Besides drinking milk, these are some of the many ways to add dairy to your summer diet.
Not only does cheese contain all the positive benefits of dairy, but chewing cheese also stimulates saliva flow to naturally clean your teeth. Cheese is also used in a variety of summer recipes. Try a slice of cheddar cheese on a burger, soft cheese such as brie or camembert on a charcuterie or cheese board, or baked mac and cheese at your next potluck.
Enjoy yogurt on its own with fruit and granola, or include it in a variety of recipes. Add plain or greek yogurt to your smoothies, make into a dip, or blend with fruit and make popsicles. Greek yogurt is especially beneficial as it contains probiotics, which combat cavities by reducing bad bacteria and germs in your mouth.
Summertime is the perfect time to have a cold drink, but if you’re at a potluck, party, or just relaxing at home, pay attention to what you’re drinking. Sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juice contain sugar that is bad for your teeth. Frequent consumption can damage tooth enamel and lead to tooth discoloration.
If you’re looking to enjoy these drinks in moderation, use a straw. Straws direct liquid away from your teeth, thus decreasing contact with your tooth enamel. Or, try a fun alternative like fruit-infused water, sparkling water, or green tea.
It’s important to stay cool during the summer, but chewing ice can cause dental damage. Biting or chewing ice may damage tooth enamel over time, making it one of the worst foods for your teeth. To discourage chewing ice, use crushed ice to replace ice cubes or cool down drinks in a larger cooler before pouring into your glass. If you’re tempted to chew ice, chew sugar-free gum instead.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy With Kimball & Beecher
There are many foods that keep your teeth healthy, but it’s also important to have regular dental checkups. Schedule an appointment with a dentist at Kimball & Beecher to learn more healthy dental practices and discuss the best ways to improve your dental wellness. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best service in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. Contact us today to learn more!