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Foods And Drinks With Oral Health Benefits

By Dr. Aastha Chandra

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FOODS AND DRINKS WITH ORAL HEALTH BENEFITS

Cheese, Milk And Yoghurt:

Cheese is one of the best foods for healthy teeth for a number of reasons. It is low in sugar and high in calcium which maintains bone density.. It contains casein, which is a protein that is particularly useful for fortifying tooth enamel. Cheese is also high in phosphate content, which helps balance pH levels in the mouth, which helps to preserve tooth enamel. Chewing cheese increases saliva production, which helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth.

Aside from good old fashioned fluoridated water, milk is the best drink when it comes to your teeth. It’s rich in calcium and other important elements. Milk, like cheese, also lowers the acid levels in the mouth, which helps fighting tooth decay.

Yoghurt is packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease and even bad breath.

Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale And Lettuce):

Any dark, green vegetable in fact is good not only for your body but also for your teeth as well. While being well-known for levels of iron, it contains high levels of calcium, folic acid and many important vitamins and minerals that help to rebuild enamel and are good for your gums.

Crunchy fresh greens in salads and sandwiches also help in cleaning your teeth.

Nuts:

These are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium, phosphorous and protein while being low in sugar. Sugar can have an adverse effect on teeth by raising the acidity levels in the mouth and badly impacting the enamel.

Almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews are special as they help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay. For instance, peanuts are a great source of calcium and vitamin D, and almonds offer good amounts of calcium, which is beneficial to teeth and gums. Cashews are known to stimulate saliva and walnuts contain everything from fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc.

Meats And Fatty Fish (eg. Salmon):

Any type of lean meat such as chicken is good as a source of protein for your teeth and gums. It is also a great source of phosphorus, a type of nutritional mineral that helps bone production and remodelling. Without phosphorous, your teeth could end up chipping very easily even if you have a large amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Salmon has long been considered a healthy food due to its low fat and high protein intake. Protein can help gums to revitalise as it is needed to repair damaged muscle tissue around the body. It also possesses vitamin D which helps the body to absorb calcium allowing for healthy teeth and bones.

Carrots:

Carrots are good for a variety of reasons especially when eaten raw. Their crunchy texture can help clean your teeth acting as a natural toothbrush, you still need to brush your teeth properly remember. The chewing action can also help to massage your gums and improve their health and blood circulation. Keratin and vitamin A are also present in this vegetable which can help repair tooth enamel.

Celery:

Celery is similar in how it can affect your mouth as carrots act as a natural toothbrush to an extent. It also has a great combination of vitamin K and calcium. Vitamin K aids in transporting calcium around the body. Celery can also help fight gum disease and increase saliva production.

Green Tea/ Black Tea:

Drinking cups of green and black tea can help your dental health. This is because the drink lacks any sugar (provided you haven’t added any) and can help keep saliva in your mouth while lowering its acidity. It can also help wash away dental plaque and reduce cavities, something that is great for anyone’s mouth. Tea is also a natural source of fluoride which helps strengthen enamel.

Apples and Pear:

Eating apples or other hard fibrous fruits can help clean your teeth and increases salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids left behind in your mouth. And while sugary apple juice may contribute to tooth decay, fresh apples are less likely to cause problems. This is because chewing the fibrous texture of apples stimulates your gums, further reducing cavity-causing bacteria and increasing saliva flow.

Fruits such as oranges while being very healthy can impact your teeth by raising the levels of acidity in your mouth. Over a sustained period, this can wear down your enamel.

Unlike many acidic fruits, raw pears are good at neutralizing acids in your mouth that cause decay.

Cranberries and Raisins (Fresh Or Sugar Free):

Cranberries are also rich in polyphenols (just like tea) and provide antioxidant benefits. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation. Just be aware that some packaged dried cranberries contain a lot of added sugar that isn’t so good for teeth.

Compounds in raisins may actually fight tooth decay.

Strawberries & Other Vitamin C Rich Berries:

We know that vitamin C is good for the body because of its antioxidant properties and for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. This also true for teeth. The collagen in the dentin of teeth depends on vitamin C for maintaining its strength and structure through synthesis.

Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and also malic acid, which could even naturally whiten your teeth.

Broccoli:

You may not be a fan of broccoli, but consider that fresh broccoli not only offer tons of vitamin C and K, important for bone health and proper blood clotting, they are also natural teeth cleaners!

Kiwis:

Kiwis are another one of the fruits that offer a really high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts immunity by increasing the production of blood cells that destroy foreign micro-organisms. These effects lead to improved resistance against infections throughout the body, including tooth decay.

Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes pack a healthy dose of vitamin A, which helps to maintain the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. The vitamin is also vital in maintaining the protein keratin, an agent that promotes formation of tooth enamel. Of course, you may want to skip the marshmallow topping for this one.

Garlic and Onions:

Okay, maybe garlic isn’t a go-to for fresh breath. However, the allicin that is contained in garlic has strong antimicrobial properties, which can help fight tooth decay and especially periodontal disease.

Again, maybe not the first choice for fresh breath. When eaten raw, onions have powerful antibacterial properties especially against some of the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.

Whole Grains:

Whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal and other whole grains are healthier choices because they have complex carbohydrates which give bacteria less digestible food for them to grow. Plus, they offer plenty of other nutrients that actively help your teeth and gums to stay healthy.

Still Water:

Last but certainly not least water is the best drink for your teeth as well as for hydrating your body. Over the course of the day bacteria can build up in your mouth and drinking water can help your saliva replenish and do its job of bringing your mouth to a normal PH level.

Drinking water really helps your teeth stay health – especially if it’s fluoridated. Drinking water with fluoride, which is “nature’s cavity fighter,” is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.

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