When you were growing up, you likely heard your mother say: “You are not going to eat that candy. It will make your teeth rot out!” While one type of food that we eat will not “make our teeth rot out”, there are definitely foods that promote strong teeth and healthy gums and foods that you should avoid when possible. A diet that is good for your overall health – one that consists of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and unsaturated fats – also helps to build healthy teeth and gums, and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
We learned from a marketing campaign years ago that “milk – it does a body good”. And this is definitely true. The calcium in milk helps build many things, including strong bones and teeth. Not only is calcium critical when bones and teeth are forming, but calcium is needed throughout adulthood to stave off tooth decay. When a person’s diet is deficient in calcium, the body pulls calcium from the bones and teeth, and this can cause cavities and tooth decay.
Women younger than 50 and men of any age need to have 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and women who are over the age of 50 need to have 1,200 mg daily. The best way to get this is to eat calcium-rich foods, including milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, broccoli, and kale. Eating 2-4 servings of these foods each day will help you get the calcium that you need.
Eat Citrus Fruits
In addition to calcium, Vitamin C is another nutrient that helps keep teeth and gums healthy, primarily by fighting off infection and repairing connective tissue. People who do not consume enough Vitamin C are more likely to have gingivitis than those who do consume enough Vitamin C. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease; it causes inflammation and redness, and your gums may bleed some while brushing. It is easy to get enough Vitamin C daily. All you need to do is eat one piece of citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, tangerine) or a kiwi each day.
Eat a Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
You’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it might keep the dentist away (or at least the dentist’s drill). Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots are great for teeth. They clean away the bacteria that cause plaque and because they require you to chew a lot, that increases saliva, which also neutralizes bacteria.
What about Tea?
You may have heard that tea isn’t a good choice for your teeth, as it can stain them. However, some compounds that are in black tea can destroy the bacteria that are present in plaque. This helps prevent cavities and gum disease, so feel free to drink black tea in moderation.
Water, Water Everywhere
Drinking plenty of water is a “no-brainer” for your overall health, and that includes your oral health. It rinses away bacteria and food particles. While you may drink bottled water frequently, old-fashioned tap water is actually better, as it contains fluoride, a chemical that prevents tooth decay.
The Naughty List
There are some foods that are on the “no-go” list, when it comes to the health of your teeth. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, as bacteria feeds on any sugar that is left on your teeth. Also, stay away from sticky foods and candy that may adhere to your teeth. One of the worst things that you can consume is regular soda; not only is it high in sugar, but it also has acids that wear away tooth enamel.
pay for hw help In general, the same diet that you would consume to enhance your overall health is exactly what you would eat for your oral health. If you ever have questions about whether a food is good or bad for your teeth, give your dentist a call.