We all want healthy teeth and gums. A healthy mouth means we can feel confident about our smile. Good oral health also ensures that you won’t experience pain and discomfort because of decay. So what can you do to keep your oral health in check? The obvious answer is to have good oral health habits like brushing at least twice per day and flossing once per day. However, what you do in between brushing plays a critical role in keeping your mouth healthy. Did you know that food is an essential component of your oral health, wellness and wellbeing? Having a healthy mouth allows your body to absorb food because digestion starts in the mouth. Keeping oral bacteria under control in between brushing can significantly decrease your probability of getting cavities and increase your likelihood of having a healthy body!
Here are three types of food that are incredible for your teeth and gums. Try adding these foods into your daily diet as an excellent complement to your existing oral health routine.
1. CRUNCHY FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Examples of tooth-friendly crunchy foods
Apples, pears, cucumbers, green beans, snap peas, celery, carrots.
Why crunchy foods are phenomenal for your teeth and gums
Crunchy foods can do wonders for your teeth. Chips and candies are crunchy, but that’s not what we are talking about here! Water-rich crunchy fruits and veggies are nutrient-dense. Some of these crunchy foods contain a good source of vitamin C, calcium and iron. They also have the added benefit of being natural tooth and gum cleaners. Chomping down on hydrating crunchy foods stimulates saliva flow while cleaning away the residue and bacteria that can be stuck on your teeth. Adding in a few servings of raw fibrous fruits and veggies each day can help scrub away plaque in between brushing.
Best ways to eat crunchy veggies and fruit: Try slicing up raw vegetables with dip as a satisfying snack. Chop them up and add them to salads and enjoy the various textures. Grab an apple and go or slice it up with some natural unsweetened nut butter. Lightly cook veggies in a stir fry to maintain a crunchy texture. The possibilities are endless, add crunchy veggies to your oral health routine.
2. DARK LEAFY GREENS
Examples of nutritious dark leafy greens: Cabbage, lettuce, chard, kale, collard greens, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, Bok choy.
Why dark leafy greens are great for your teeth and gums
Dark leafy greens contain vitamins A and C, beta carotene, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. Bones, which include your teeth, love dark leafy greens. The vitamins and minerals they contain are instrumental in helping your bones maintain balance. Like crunchy veggies, the hydrating and crisp nature of greens helps to clean teeth and gums. What’s not to love!
Best ways to eat dark leafy greens: If your not a fan of the bitter taste leafy greens like mustard or arugula tend to have, try mixing them with milder tasting greens like spinach or lettuce. Chop them up finely and sneak them into casseroles, cheesy lasagna or savoury stews. Get adventurous and try different greens in salads. Create yummy pureed sauces like a spinach pesto or add them to smoothies. Leafy greens are so versatile try adding them to your oral health routine.
3. PROBIOTICS RICH FOODS
Examples of delicious probiotic-rich foods: Sugar-free yogurt, miso, tempeh, kombucha, natto (fermented soybean product), kefir (a fermented probiotic milk drink), unpasteurized sauerkraut (fermented by lactic acid bacteria), kimchi, some cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella and gouda, supplements, probiotic chews.
Why probiotic-rich foods are fantastic for your teeth and gums
Have you had your healthy serving of bacteria today? If the thought of ingesting bacteria makes you feel icky remember that good bacteria is an integral part of the human digestive system. The mouth is an often overlooked component of the GI tract and therefore benefits from good bacteria. Having a healthy helping of probiotics keeps bad breath at bay and combats gum disease.
Best ways to eat probiotic-rich foods: Enjoy tasty unsweetened yogurts with fruit and homemade granola or a refreshing probiotic drink. For those who are lactose intolerant, try a stir fry with tempeh or miso soup. Crunchy sauerkraut and cheese on a sandwich is a sure crowd-pleaser. Enjoy a probiotic chew to get your daily dose of good bacteria. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy your probiotics, go ahead and give it a try.
Let us know if you have incorporated any of these tooth-friendly foods into your daily diet.