Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are proven methods for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. In addition, the foods you eat may also have an impact on your oral health. It’s not just candy and other sweets that can cause plaque to form on the teeth–even crackers and dried fruit can make your teeth susceptible to decay. Considering your oral health and taking it into account when planning your meals is simple. Take time to discover what foods are best for your teeth and gums, in addition make an appointment with your dentist today.
What to Eat for Healthy Teeth and Gums
The same foods that are generally recommended as part of a beneficial diet can also keep your teeth and gums healthy. Lean proteins, calcium-rich dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and seeds/nuts can all promote good oral health.
Some of the best foods for your teeth and gums include:
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale – These vegetables contain lots of calcium and folic acid, they are known to actually help clean your teeth as you eat them.
- Apples and pears – Even though most fruits are naturally high in sugar, apples and pears can help keep your teeth clean. They also assist in the neutralization of harmful acids.
- Salmon and other fatty fish – Fish contains vitamin D and omega-3 fats, which can help prevent gum disease.
- Cacao nibs or dark chocolate – Chocolate with minimal added sugars can actually kill cavity-causing bacteria.
- Water – Fluoridated water can help protect your teeth from cavities, wash away food particles, and help with saliva production
Other foods can help prevent or fight inflammation, which can be a factor in developing gum disease. Turmeric, for example, is an anti-inflammatory spice. Added to your diet, you would be able to take advantage of its many health benefits.
Other Healthy Habits to Avoid Cavities
You already know to brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. But the tools you use are almost as important as how you use them. Choosing a soft-bristled toothbrush, for example, can help you avoid gum irritation. Toothpaste that contains fluoride promotes healthy enamel and can even reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
What you drink can have a big impact on your oral health, as well. Drinks with a high sugar content like soda or fruit juice can leave a film of sugar on the teeth, this promotes the buildup of plaque. In addition, acidic drinks like diet sodas, wine, and acidic coffee (which is often also laden with sugar) can make your teeth susceptible to decay.
What is the best way to enjoy these drinks? Drink some water immediately after finishing your original beverage, then wait at least 45 minutes before brushing your teeth so you don’t damage your enamel. Brushing your teeth in the morning before your morning coffee can make it more difficult for stains to adhere to the plaque that forms overnight.
Make an Appointment at Columbia Smiles Today
Contact Columbia Smiles to make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. While eating the right foods can go a long way in promoting good oral health, no diet can make up for a lack of proper dental care. Your dentist can identify problems that you might not have been aware of, like the early stages of gum disease or cavities.
At Columbia Smiles, we offer a wide array of dental services in a comfortable, convenient location. Howard County residents have trusted our practice for over 35 years. Call us to schedule an appointment today–contact us at 410.690.4855 or reach out online now.