How to Eat with Your Teeth and Gums in Mind
Eating Right Is Good for You and Protects Your Oral Health
You are what you eat is an idea that’s been around for a long time, and when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, it’s an axiom that has some truth to it. Frequent brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing are the most crucial parts of maintaining your smile, but eating right also can have a significant benefit to your oral health. At Farber Center, we are a holistic dental practice offering periodontal care and dental implants, and we view oral health as very much connected to whole-body health. Therefore, we like to remind our patients and the public at large about the importance of eating well. A healthy and balanced diet maintains your health in many ways and makes it much less likely that you will lose your teeth or need treatment for gingivitis and other gum diseases.
When it comes to your eating choices and habits, it’s most helpful to eat a range of nutrient-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, calcium-rich foods, and protein foods. Eating from all food groups in a good balance is excellent for your health overall, and also beneficial to your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you avoid sugary foods to the greatest extent possible, and also to limit snacking between meals because of the food particles left behind in your mouth between brushings.
Have Your Heard About Smart Snacking?
One great example of smart snacking is eating an apple. From a nutritional standpoint, the fiber and water they contain are healthier that sugary sweet snacks, but here’s an equally important benefit: eating and chewing an apple produces saliva that helps rinse away food particles and bacteria present in your mouth. Also, the fibrous texture of an apple rubs and stimulates the gums. This is not to say that eating apples replace brushing or flossing, but it is a good option at a between-meal time when you don’t have an opportunity to brush afterward.
If apples aren’t your favorite, maybe you like carrots better? They too can be smarter snacks and better for your teeth and gums than other options. They are crunchy and fiber-rich like apples. When you eat a handful of uncooked carrot sticks, you’ll increase saliva production in your mouth which can help reduce cavities. Another similar option is snacking on raw celery. Someone like a toothbrush, it can help scrape food particles off of your teeth to reduce bacteria present in the mouth. For your whole-body health, celery provides vitamins A and C as well as two antioxidants known to be beneficial to your gums.
Foods Beneficial to Your Teeth, Gums and Oral Health
- Calcium-rich foods, including milk that is low-fat or fat-free and other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese; soy drinks that are fortified can be good choices as well as tofu; leafy vegetables, especially dark green ones, are healthy for teeth and bones along with almonds and salmon that is canned
- Foods containing phosphorus can help maintain healthy teeth, and these include lean meat, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well as nuts and beans
- Foods rich in vitamin C are helpful to your gums, and that means eating oranges, lemons, grapefruits along with broccoli, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes
Combined with regular dental check-ups, frequent brushing, and daily flossing, better eating habits can have an immediate beneficial effect on your teeth and gums. Looking at things holistically as we do at Farber Center, you’ll also be making smarter eating choices that will benefit your whole-body health along with strengthening your teeth and gums.
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