Table of Contents
- 1 The Other Side of The Story – How Nutrition Impacts Oral Health
- 2 Surprisingly Some Seemingly Healthy Foods Can Also Wear Away At Your Tooth Enamel
- 3 Best Foods For Dental Health
Let’s face it!
Although scientific advancements may change this in the future, as of right now, you only get one set of adult teeth. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do ALL you can to protect them and keep them healthy.
You have been led to believe brushing, flossing, and mouth washing is all there is to protect your pearly whites and your gums.
But, in fact, it’s only part of the story.
The Other Side of The Story – How Nutrition Impacts Oral Health
As well as keeping your teeth and gums clean, you should also think carefully about exactly what you’re eating.
If you weren’t already aware, there are plenty of foods out which can wind up doing some severe damage to your teeth and gums.
It’s recommended to maintain your blood sugar levels at 80 mg/DL (4.4 mmol/L) or lower, both fasting and after a meal if possible. Doing so will further help to protect your mouth health from premature oral decay.
In fact, some studies suggest that the right diet can make even more of a difference to your dental hygiene than once thought.
To learn the foods that can improve your dental health and make your dental office visits more pleasant.
Keep reading this post!
Most Often When You Visit The Dentist What You SHOULD Eat Is Not On The Menu
Like any part of your body, your teeth and gums require the proper nutrients to remain healthy and vibrant.
If you don’t consume enough of the right foods, and instead opt for acidic foods that can damage your teeth, then you could be doing some serious harm to your dental hygiene now and in the long run.
Unfortunately, most times you visit the dentist, what you eat is not generally on the menu so to speak.
Yeah sure, you may know you should stay away from sweets and sugary sodas, but rarely if at all, does your dentist or dental hygienist share with you what you should be eating to boost your dental health.
For that reason, we have put this article together to give you a few pointers. Read on to discover some of the foods you should be eating to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Feed Your Teeth: The Surprising Link Between Nutrition And Healthy Teeth And Gums
As you probably already know, your bones, teeth included are mostly made up of calcium!
As you eat acidic foods, the layer of enamel that protects your teeth can be worn down. Examples of highly acidic foods and beverages include:
- Processed foods
- Certain (not all) dairy products
- Fresh meats and processed meats, such as corned beef and turkey
- Sugary sodas and other sweetened beverages
- High-protein foods and supplements
Surprisingly Some Seemingly Healthy Foods Can Also Wear Away At Your Tooth Enamel
The pH value reveals if a substance or in this case, food, is acidic, basic, or neutral. The lower the number, the more acidic either the food or beverage is.
- A pH of 0 indicates a high level of acidity.
- A pH of 7 is neutral. (e.g. pure water has a pH of 7)
- A pH of 14 is the most basic, or alkaline.
Clemson University compiled the full spectrum of fruits, vegetables, and their corresponding pH. Foods are listed from most acidic to least acidic. For best oral health results, try to limit the fruits and juice beverages at the top of the list and become more conscientious and consume more that are at or nearer the bottom of the list.
- Lemon juice (pH: 2.00–2.35)
- Limes (pH: 2.00–2.80)
- Blue plums (pH: 2.80–3.40)
- Grapes (pH: 2.90–3.82)
- Pomegranates (pH: 2.93–3.20)
- Grapefruits (pH: 3.00–3.75)
- Blueberries (pH: 3.12–3.33)
- Pineapples (pH: 3.20–4.00)
- Apples (pH: 3.30–4.00)
- Peaches (pH: 3.30–4.05)
- Mangoes (green) (pH: 3.40–4.80)
- Oranges (pH: 3.69–4.34)
- Tomatoes (pH: 4.30–4.90)
Best Foods For Dental Health
Alkalizing – Low Acidic Foods For Improved Oral Health
Below are examples of highly alkaline or acidic neutralizing foods and beverages you can incorporate into your diet that support dental health include:
- Soy, such as miso, soybeans, tofu, and tempeh
- Unsweetened yogurt and milk
- Most fresh vegetables, including potatoes
- Most fruits
- Herbs and spices, excluding salt, mustard, and nutmeg
- Beans and lentils
- Some whole grains, such as millet, quinoa, and amaranth
- Herbal teas
- Fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds
In The End, Oral Health It’s Not All About Consuming Calcium!
It’s, almost a no-brainer that foods rich in calcium will help to give your teeth the nutrients they need to stay strong.
For example, cheese and milk are the big hitters here, as well as things like seafood and yogurt. If you do not or cannot tolerate dairy, though, not to worry, almonds and tofu are both excellent substitutes.
It’s not all about calcium, though, as phosphorus is just as essential. Some excellent sources of phosphorus include red meat and pumpkin seeds- although tofu again is an excellent choice if you are veggie or vegan.
If You Don’t Get Enough of This Nutrient, Your Doomed!
Next up, another nutrient that is vital for healthy teeth is Vitamin D. This is so important for your overall health, but also it has an important role to play with your teeth, too.
“When we’re eating a diet high in sugar, we’re having blood sugar spikes, or eating a low-fat diet devoid of fat-soluble vitamins of A, D3, and K2 and when we don’t have enough minerals in our diet, what happens is this lymph system stagnates or, even worse, it can actually reverse. This is how a cavity is formed,” Nadine Artemis of Living Libations explains.
If you are not properly feeding your body what it needs, your mouth and teeth will eventually pay the price!
Without a sufficient amount of vitamin D, your body won’t be able to absorb enough calcium properly.
The easiest way to get your vitamin D is to get out from behind your computer and get out in the sunlight for 20 minutes, where your skin will naturally absorb it.
If, however, you find yourself stuck a lot indoors, especially during the cold Winter months or just want to boost your body’s nutrient levels, then eating fish, egg yolks, and cod liver oil are a good place to start.
Foods That Go Crunch Make More Saliva
Finally, the last food group on our list doesn’t have any particular nutritional value, but they could do an awful lot to help your dental hygiene- crunchy foods that are high in water.
These sorts of foods are highly beneficial for two reasons.
Firstly, the more you chew your food, the more saliva your body produces to help you break it down. As well as helping with digestion, saliva also helps to neutralize bacteria in your mouth- the leading cause of cavities.
More saliva is even better for fighting against bacteria than toothpaste, so the more crunchy foods you eat, the better.
Secondly, these foods like celery tend to be slightly abrasive in texture. That’s not enough to damage your teeth, but it is enough to gently scrub against the surface of your teeth and clean them.
Also, if you don’t like or you regularly forget to floss, eat more celery! Celery is a stringy vegetable. It can act as natural dental floss helping you to clean in between your teeth. As an added bonus, it is low in calories and high in fiber.
Suggesting Crunchy Foods Should Not Give You A License To Eat Chips!
It works the same way as when the dentist polishes your teeth, so these foods are like nature’s dentist.
However, you’ll only see the full benefits of this approach to dental hygiene with raw fruits and vegetables, so you should still stay away from chips and the like because not only will chips negatively affect your oral health, but also they will increase waistline, which is a double whammy to your overall health.