Improve the health of your mouth and body by eating healthy.
We all know that eating healthy, nutritious food is great for the mind and body, but there are certain foods you can eat that can also help improve your oral health and keep your teeth strong, too. You may be surprised to learn how easy it can be to maintain a healthy mouth by simply making a few dietary changes—and sticking to a regular oral hygiene routine, of course!
Read on for our top tips!
Your diet helps shape your health.
Did you know that your mouth is the second-most diverse biome of your body when it comes to bacteria? There are several hundred types of bacteria that live on your teeth, tongue, and gums.
When you think about it, the mouth is the gateway to your digestive tract, so keeping your mouth healthy with a good oral hygiene is just as important for the mouth as it is for the rest of your body. When you eat or drink something, it gets mixed with your saliva and other oral enzymes as you chew and makes its way through your digestive tract to your gut. This is why it is important to keep your mouth healthy as well as the bacteria that end up in your gut.
If there is an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth, that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and even bleeding gums. Scientists have found that as long as bacteria stays in balance, meaning you are digesting the proper foods for a healthy diet, the bacteria has little to no effect on your teeth and typically does no harm.
How can you make your mouth a healthy microbiome?
The foods you consume directly impact your saliva and oral microbiome, so it’s important to eat foods that will benefit your mouth and teeth. One way to keep your microbiome in check is to eat a healthy balance of foods to keep your pH relatively neutral. Carbohydrates and sugar produce acid, which can eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth and cause tooth decay. Eating foods with calcium can, in turn, help build up the enamel layer of your teeth. This is why it’s so important to eat healthy foods and keep everything in balance.
5 Best Food Types To Eat for Good Oral Health
There are many different foods you can eat that will benefit not only your oral health, but your complete body health too!
1. Calcium-Enriched Items
We know milk does a body good, but it also helps maintain the strength of your tooth enamel. Any product containing calcium, like yogurt and low-fat cheese, is great for overall health, so be sure to keep these foods in your diet. They also make a great midday snack.
2. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Celery, carrots, and apples are all considered “nature’s toothbrush” because of their hard exteriors. The amount of chewing you have to do to digest them helps clean the teeth in the process. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, like potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin A, all of which are staples of a healthy diet.
3. Leafy Vegetables
Dark-green, leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, are also important foods to add to your diet. Kale and spinach are both rich in antioxidants, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. Other leafy vegetables, like collard greens and cabbage, provide many important vitamins as well and make great diet choices.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish, like salmon, trout, and tuna, are great sources of omega 3 and vitamin D, and luckily, scientific studies suggest that fatty fish can also help fight tooth decay. The omega 3 fats found in these fish help minimize tooth decay when paired with proper dental habits.
Citrus fruits, like grapefruit and oranges, are full of vitamin C, which can help strengthen blood vessels in the body. Citrus can also slow down gum inflammation, which is the leading cause of gum disease. A quick word of warning: be sure not to overindulge in these foods, as the acids within them can contribute to enamel erosion over time.
3 Types of Food to Avoid
Now that you know some of the foods that are good for dental health, here are some foods that might hinder you.
1. Candy and Soda
These are two of the most popular consumables, but they don’t do much to contribute to optimal health. That’s because they are high in sugar, even diet sodas. In general, sugar helps speed up the process of tooth decay, so it’s best to avoid it when possible.
Crackers are high in carbohydrates, which, when broken down in the body, turn into sugar and cause harm to the mouth. So think twice before you consider regularly snacking on crackers.
3. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is fruit that has been stripped of all its water and moisture, leaving behind a substance similar to caramel, which can stick to your teeth and upset oral microbes if left to fester. This is why doctors and dentists generally recommend fresh fruit over dried fruit.
Be sure to visit your dentist regularly!
Now that you know what foods can help and harm your oral health, make sure to visit the Bloomington Modern Dental team at least twice a year for your checkups. We want to make sure your teeth are healthy and in good shape so you can smile confidently for years to come. Give us a call to book your appointment soon!