What to Eat to Keep Your Teeth Healthy and Clean this Summer!
Summertime is like a 3-month holiday filled with fun, sunshine and lots of delicious food! It’s easy to indulge in a bunch of “should not's” like sugary treats, starches, and soda. The secret to healthy teeth and gums is more than just frequent visits to the dentist. Maintaining a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods from all four food groups - fruits-vegetables, dairy, proteins, and whole grains makes for a healthy mouth and gums. In addition to a consistent brushing and flossing regimen, it is important to eat the right food for healthy teeth.
Calcium-Rich Dairy Products
Cheese is low in sugar, high in calcium and phosphates, and contains casein to fortify tooth enamel. Calcium helps maintain bone density and phosphates balances the pH levels in the mouth to help preserve tooth enamel.
Milk is rich in calcium and lowers the acid levels in your mouth, making it a great choice for fighting tooth decay and lowering your chances of developing gum disease.
Yogurt protects you against cavities, gum disease, and bad breath with its high levels of calcium and probiotics.
A Healthy Crunch
Between celery, nature’s closest thing to dental floss, and carrots, one of the great cavity-fighting vegetables, firm, crunchy fruits and vegetables are natural teeth cleaners. Besides containing a lot of nutrients, the fibrous, crunchy textures of apples, pears, raw broccoli, and cauliflower require a lot of chewing which helps to clean the surfaces of the teeth. They are loaded with calcium, vitamin C, and keratins, and contain a large amount of water which stimulates the flow of saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles.
Meats & Fish
Like fruits, vegetables and dairy, meat, and fatty fish are also filled with beneficial vitamins and nutrients that help support healthy oral hygiene. Meat requires rigorous chewing that helps produce cleansing saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles that lead to tooth decay. Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and shrimp, contain phosphorus which is a great mineral for protecting tooth enamel.
Simple carbohydrates stick to the surface of your teeth contributing to the formation of cavities. But not whole grains! In addition to containing lots of nutrients for healthy teeth and gums, whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, and other whole grains contain complex carbohydrates depriving bacteria of digestible food on which to grow.
Water vs. Soda & Sports Drinks
Water is the healthiest thing you can drink for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Drinking fluoridated water is “nature’s natural cavity fighter.” Water also keeps your saliva levels high and helps to wash away food particles in the mouth.
The worst drinks for your teeth are soda and sports drinks. They are FULL of sugar, cause a dry mouth, and eat away at your teeth. A great alternative is infused water. It’s easy, and fun to make with the kids. Leave a pitcher of water in the refrigerator (glass for best flavor) for just 4 hours, or overnight. Some popular flavors are cucumber-mint, orange-blueberry, pineapple-mint, watermelon-basil and strawberry-lemon.
What does your smile say about you? At Tri-Cities Orthodontic Specialists we stop at nothing until our patients’ smiles are full of confidence! Come visit our welcoming, family-oriented team who will attend to your every orthodontic need. To schedule an appointment please call (276) 642-0043 or complete and submit our request form. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.