9 Superfoods For Healthy Teeth
by Dr. Harold R. Christiansen
Wouldn’t it be great if we could eat our way to better oral health? Well guess what? You can!
“Superfoods” are known to play a key role in maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile! What’s even better? Spending less time and money visiting your dentist!
So what are superfoods? Superfoods are categorized as foods that neutralize acids, provide vitamins and minerals that can help repair tooth enamel, and stimulate saliva production.
It’s no secret that regular brushing and flossing will help keep the dentist away, but eating a diet rich in oral healthy foods can maintain the longevity of strong teeth and gums!
Here are just a few oral healthy foods that have been linked to preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
The polyphenol compounds found in black and green teas are said to slow the growth of bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease. Researchers have found that those who rinsed their mouths with black tea for one minute, ten times a day, showed signs of less plaque build-up than those who only rinsed with water.
Tea also has the ability to fight halitosis by controlling the production of smelly compounds in our mouths. Pass the tea, please!
Different types of nuts provide essential minerals and vitamins for our teeth. Peanuts contain calcium and vitamin D; almonds are known to have high levels of calcium, as well.
Cashews help stimulate saliva production and walnuts contain fiber, folic acid, iron, vitamin E and B6, as well as, potassium and zinc. All of which are great for our teeth.
3) Raw Milk
A healthy alternative to the problems associated with dairy products is almond milk. Containing roughly the same concentration of calcium as regular milk, it doesn’t have the adverse conditions associated with regular milk. Plus, the vitamin D in almond milk can help rebuild enamel and improve the health and longevity of our teeth!
A report provided earlier this year by the journal, General Dentistry reported that 12 to 15 year olds who ate cheddar cheese showed lower levels of acid within their mouths than those who ate sugar-free yogurt or consumed a glass of milk.
It’s thought that cheese may neutralize the plaque acid and chewing increases saliva production; which in turn washes away the bacteria that causes cavities.
Milk doesn’t have to be your only source of vitamin D. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D and have been said to help improve the absorption of calcium.
This is great for improving the benefits of calcium-filled food consumption.
Believe it or not, water is one of the best ways to promote good oral health! Water keeps your gums hydrated and deposits certain minerals into your teeth that will keep them strong.
Water has also been known to reduce the risk of decomposition. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces, each day. More if you exercise.
7) Raw Onions
Known for their antibacterial properties, consuming raw onions is a fantastic way to fight those bacteria properties. It’s been said that you can use a raw onion to alleviate tooth pain by rubbing it on the tooth itself. Just make sure that if you continue to experience tooth pain you see your dentist!
Loaded with beta-carotene, this vegetable is packed with properties that help wash away harmful bacteria found in our mouths. As a bonus, beta-carotene also enhances immunity, protects our bodies against toxins, and helps prevent eye related illnesses.
Pumpkins and sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, too!
9) Dark Chocolate
Not all superfoods have to be vegetables! Dark chocolate contains cocoa, which in turn contains tannin. Tannin plays a vital role in reducing tooth decay and erosion. It’s said to combat inflammation in our gums, too.
Cocoa helps reduce the growth of plaque as well as reducing the production of acids in our mouths. What’s not to love about that? Dark chocolate has many more healthy properties that are beneficial to more than just our oral health!
Make the choice to eat foods beneficial to your oral health. Eating healthy is a simple way to avoid oral diseases and costly dental visits. Let’s reward ourselves by eating foods that are not only delicious, but will help us stay out of the dental chair! Because, who doesn’t love saving time and money?
(Dr. Harold R. Christiansen has been in the dental field since he created his own private practice in 1971. In addition to dentistry, Dr. Chris is a husband, father of two, grandfather of two, as well as a part-time instructor at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry. For more dental advice and fast information, check out his blog at www.drchrisdental.com.)