Ever since we were kids, our parents have been warning us about eating too much candy. They told us that aside from making us lose our appetite for real food, sweets can also wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.
Now that we’ve grown up, we can fully appreciate how right our parents are. Candy and soda and sugary foods do contribute to tooth decay. Some sweet-tasting foodstuff, however, are actually good for your teeth, believe it or not.
Let’s take a look at some of the foods that help us maintain strong and healthy teeth.
This may surprise people who treat chocolate like the enemy, but you can do your teeth some good by eating chocolate – dark chocolate that is, not the sugary, milk chocolatey kind.
Dark chocolate, which is usually 70% cacao, contains CBH (cacao been husk), a compound that does tooth enamel a favor by hardening it.
With harder tooth enamel, your teeth become more resilient against tooth decay. Sure, dark chocolate is a bit bitter compared to milk chocolate, but it tastes great nevertheless and provides great health benefits too!
Apples And Oranges
Yet another sweet food that always makes it to any list of foods that are beneficial to your teeth are fruits like apples and oranges.
Fiber-rich fruits like apples are also loaded with water. Combine that with the saliva that the act of eating one produces, and you have an effective way of rinsing your mouth clean of food particles and bacteria. The gums also benefit from eating apples regularly because their fibrous texture stimulates them.
Oranges, on the other hand, can still be good for your oral health despite its acidic nature. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, whose benefits include stronger blood vessels and reduced inflammation, which is crucial to delaying the progression of gum disease.
If you’re going to have oranges and other citrus fruits, make sure you drink sparkling water and proceed with brushing your teeth about 30 minutes later. No matter what you do, don’t brush immediately after eating oranges because it could weaken your tooth enamel.
For starters, cheese contains calcium and protein that strengthen tooth enamel.
The act of chewing on cheese is also believed to trigger a rise in pH levels inside the mouth and lowers the risk of tooth decay.
Then there’s the way cheese — goat and sheep cheeses, in particular—counteracts the acid that the food you eat leaves in your mouth. By eating cheese, you are protecting your teeth from acid erosion.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens have always been healthy food, but their impact on oral health needs a little more emphasizing. Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in calcium, which helps build tooth enamel. Its folic acid content is also believed to be effective in helping treat gum disease in expectant mothers.
Tuna, mackerel, salmon, and other types of fatty fish are excellent sources of vitamin D. So why is vitamin D important to your oral health? It’s because you need to have sufficient levels of vitamin D in your diet to effectively absorb all the calcium in the things that you eat. With enough calcium in your diet, your teeth and gums should have ample protection against disease.
Green And Black Tea
Green and black teas contain polyphenols, which suppress or kill plaque-causing bacteria. The same polyphenols also fight off cavities. Drink green or black tea during or after a meal to effectively combat the bacteria that produce acids that destroy tooth enamel.
“They sure are handy when you smile. So keep your teeth around awhile!” So says Dr. Seuss, and we would all do well to heed his advice. With proper oral and dental hygiene and the consumption of any or all of the above foods that are good for your teeth, we should be able to keep our teeth healthy and around for a long time.