Diet plays a major role in the health of the mouth. The foods you choose to consume, when they are consumed, as well as how often they are consumed, play a major role in the state of your dental and general health.
Dr. Jones, of Nashville Restorative Dentistry, states that “it is important to remember that, in addition to observing a healthy diet, it is also essential to ensure that you brush twice daily with a recommended toothpaste and rinse out the mouth after meals with mouthwash”. Tooth decay occurs when residual sugar in the mouth combines with built up plaque. Visit a dentist and get a dental check-up so as to know the current health of your teeth and take care of any tooth defect you might have.
However, even as you observe a healthy oral hygiene you might not be able to achieve your goal of healthy teeth without monitoring what you eat. You can easily achieve strong teeth and healthy gums by following a good diet regimen. By doing so, you proactively avoid tooth decay and gum disease. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fiber, lean proteins (such as legumes, fish, chicken without the skin, lean beef, whole grains, and unsaturated fats is a sure way to protect your oral health.
We took a look at some nutritional elements that are known to be beneficial for keeping a healthy oral state, and some of the food sources.
The bones and the enamel of the teeth are made up of minerals. Calcium and phosphorus are the building blocks of the enamel. Consuming foods that are rich in these minerals help to fortify this hard covering of our teeth.
Low-fat milk, almonds, aged and hard cheese, yogurts, beans and lentils, sardines, and some leafy vegetables are some of the calcium rich foods.
Vitamin C enables the production of collagen which is an essential protein that helps the body ward off periodontal diseases. It helps to prevent sensitive teeth, reduces susceptibility to bacteria, keeps the gums healthy, encourages wound healing, and strengthens the blood vessels and helps to reduce inflammation. Sources of vitamin C include fruits (apples and oranges) and vegetables.
Vitamin D helps the body to effectively absorb calcium. Sunlight is the most common source of Vitamin D. Some food sources include egg yolks, fish, and cod liver oil (which is often available as food supplements pills).
Antioxidants take care of free radicals in the body. Their presence helps the body to fight bacteria, avoid inflammation and cell damage. Apples, nuts, legumes, raisins, berries, and grapes are some of the food sources.
Anthocyanins, arginine and polyphenols
Anthocyanins help to control the buildup of plaque, and may be beneficial in preventing oral cancer. Some of the sources include cherries, berries, eggplant, grapes, and plums. Arginines are amino acids that can help prevent cavities. Some food sources include nuts, soy, and meat. Polyphenols may slow the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease. Berries, cocoa, flax seeds, green and black tea are some of the food sources.
It is essential to follow these general guidelines when making your meal choice:
- Ensure a balanced diet: be sure to include foods from the six nutrient classes
- Get plenty of water and non sugary fluids
- Limit the amount of snacks and processed food you consume, especially in-between meals. However, you can take healthy snacks such as fruits, or popcorns. Popcorns are a detergent food. This type of food due to their fibrous nature helps to scrub the teeth while they are eaten. They also produce saliva which helps to wash off food particles and prevent the buildup of plaque.