Everyone knows that a balanced diet is essential to promote overall wellness. But did you know certain foods can protect your smile? Although it may not be obvious, following a healthy dietary regimen and being conscious about what you eat can do wonders for your mouth and body. Read on to learn from your dentist in Bloomington about foods that benefit your oral health the most.
How Does Your Diet Affect Your Smile?
Eating plenty of sugary, starchy, and highly processed foods is just as harmful to your mouth as it is to your body. Bacteria like to feed on these food particles and produce harmful acids that wear away your enamel, making your teeth more prone to decay, cavities, and even gum disease. On the other hand, eating a well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, and protein can promote good oral health.
Which Foods Benefit Oral Health?
The following foods and drinks can strengthen your teeth and keep your mouth bacteria-free while simultaneously providing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Dairy products, such as cheese, plain yogurt, and milk, are high in calcium and protein. They’re some of the best foods for oral and bodily health because it keeps your teeth and bones strong. They also encourage your mouth to produce more saliva which is a natural cleansing agent. If you’re allergic or sensitive to dairy, try calcium- and protein-fortified alternatives instead (almond, soy, or cashew milk).
Kale, spinach, chard, or collard greens are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals that promote good oral health. They’re rich in calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins. Plus, they’re low in calories, meaning you can eat as many as you want!
Firm, crunchy veggies like celery and carrots help stimulate good saliva production. They require significant chewing effort, and their texture helps scrub away food particles and bacteria. Carrots also have the added benefit of being a great cavity-fighting vegetable!
Apples and Pears
Apples and pears are fibrous fruits that can help clean your teeth, increase salivation, and neutralize acids in your mouth. Like crunchy vegetables, they also require significant chewing, which helps increase saliva flow and reduce cavity-causing bacteria. Plus, fresh fruits contain natural sugars, meaning you can satisfy your sweet tooth without putting your smile at risk!
Almonds are one of the most beneficial nuts because they help ward off bacteria that lead to tooth decay. They’re also a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar, making them an ideal snack that benefits your health.
Making smart dietary choices certainly helps your teeth. By knowing the foods that benefit your oral health, you can do your part in maintaining a happy, healthy smile for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Martin Barco earned his dental doctorate from the University of North Carolina. Before that, he served four years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. Dr. Barco is a member of the American Dental Association and the Spear Dental Study Club. He can further discuss foods that benefit your teeth during your next dental checkup and cleaning which you can schedule on his website or call (812) 332-8290.