The Best Foods for Your Teeth and Gums
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 4/16/2019
You’re likely already familiar with the list of foods to avoid, from sticky or chewy foods to too many sugary treats. But what about the foods that are actually good for your teeth and gums? Improving your diet can have a positive impact on the health of your mouth.
Celery, carrots, and apples
Celery might not be the most tasty vegetable, but what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in Vitamins A and C, both of which can help improve the health of your gums. Celery also functions as a toothbrush of sorts, scraping food particles and bacteria from your teeth.
Full of fiber, carrots are another vegetable you can add to the list of foods that help improve your oral health. Carrots are also crunchy, meaning they take longer to chew and thus generate more saliva. That saliva helps flush mouth bacteria from around your gum line.
Most dental professionals will discourage consuming sweet foods, but apples are the exception. Like carrots, apples are crunchy and high in fiber. And when bits of foods like celery, carrots, and apples get stuck in between your teeth, they can actually help keep your mouth fresh.
Low in calories and chock full of vitamins and minerals, leafy greens are never a bad choice for your diet. Kale and spinach, for example, contain Vitamin C to produce red blood cells and reduce inflammation, doing their part to fight irritation and gum disease.
The calcium contained in leafy greens will help build your teeth’s enamel, and the chewing required for consuming leafy greens stimulates the production of more saliva.
And not every leafy green has to be in a salad. Consider putting them in soups and sandwiches.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese
Dairy products, in general, are good for your teeth because they are high in calcium. There are also dairy foods like yogurt that contain probiotics which, for lack of a better term, are good bacteria that crowd out the cavity-causing bad bacteria in your mouth.
The bad bacteria in your mouth produces oral acids that break down tooth enamel and gum tissue. Dairy products introduce a protein into your mouth that can neutralize these acids.
Cheese requires the kind of chewing that produces an increased amount of saliva in the mouth, and also contains calcium and protein for strengthening tooth enamel.
If you would like to know more about the foods that promote good oral health and help protect your teeth and gums, contact your dental professional.