The mouth is important not just for a beautiful smile, but it also plays an important role in speaking and eating. You use the mouth to bite food and chew it for proper digestion. The mouth also helps you enunciate each syllable.
The mouth is so important, which is why you should always ensure that you take proper care of it. It is why oral hygienists and dentists alike love emphasizing the importance of proper dental care. However, it does not only mean regular brushing, although it is a significant part of it.
Good oral health comes from eating the right foods. Some foods stain teeth or significantly wear down the enamel, which is the protective coating. Other foods strengthen enamel and help protect the teeth from tooth decay, which promotes overall oral health.
Top 5 Food Recommendations for Good Oral Health
Oral health is usually the most susceptible to neglect and decline according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Fortunately, the ADA has compiled a list of foods that help promote good oral health. Following this list will help you enjoy a lovely, healthy smile for a long time to come:
1. Lean Proteins
According to the ADA, foods rich in phosphorous such as milk, fish, eggs, and poultry help strengthen teeth and contain valuable protein. Lean proteins help protect and rebuild tooth enamel. Protein also promotes a healthy development of connective tissue and helps support the immune system.
Meats contain arginine, which is an important amino acid that’s the building block for protein. You will find high quantities of arginine in pork loin, chicken breast, and turkey. Fish, particularly wild salmon and tuna are rich in vitamin D and phosphorous that help the body absorb calcium.
Nuts such as almonds contain minerals and proteins that can be important for overall health. However, one thing that many people fail to realize is that they are also low in carbohydrates. This is an important fact since the ADA says that acid-producing bacteria, which are activated by carbohydrates, cause tooth decay.
Foods such as nuts, which are low in carbohydrates thus don’t contribute to the risk of cavities. Almonds are a particularly rich source of calcium and protein but are still low in sugar. Chewing nuts for a snack helps stimulate the production of saliva, which washes away bacteria and acid that cause tooth decay. Cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds are your best options here.
Fruits are high in fiber and water, which help contribute to good oral health. However, it is important to be careful because some fruits contain too much sugar and can have the opposite effect. The ADA actually recommends avoiding most sugary foods, but some fruits such as apples can prove highly beneficial to oral health. Kiwis, apples, and berries are some of the best fruits for oral health.
Kiwis have one of the highest Vitamin C concentrations, even more than oranges. In the absence of Vitamin C, the collagen in the gums breaks down, which causes the gums to become more sensitive and susceptible to periodontal disease. Apples are high in antioxidants, water, and fiber. Berries are rich in antioxidants that fight bacteria.
4. Leafy Green Vegetables
The fact that vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet is no secret, but leafy vegetables are also very important for good oral health. Leafy green vegetables are high in both fiber and water and help balance the sugar they contain to clean teeth.
Leafy greens also contain several essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, which is a form of Vitamin B. Folic acid offers numerous benefits to health, including helping with the regeneration of cells. Studies have shown that folic acid is a potential treatment for gum disease, especially for pregnant women.
Chewing leafy green vegetables also helps stimulate saliva production, which helps the mouth wash away otherwise harmful acids and food particles.
Dairy-based products such as cheese and yogurt are great for oral health since they are rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The ingredients in dairy help maintain the strength and overall good health of teeth and mouth as a whole.
Yogurt also contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacterial cultures that help maintain healthy gums. Probiotics help push out harmful bacteria that may otherwise cause tooth decay and cavities. However, the best type of yogurt is the one without added flavorings or sugar since they can counteract the health benefits.
What you eat makes a great difference when it comes to oral health. If you wish to maintain good oral health, ensure that your diet is filled with the 5 food items on this list, but don’t forget the basics of regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. If you wish to learn more about how to promote good oral health, get in touch with a reputable dentist in your area.