Your diet influences your oral health more than you think. Research has shown that
people—children in particular—are prone to cavities as a result of a diet low in nutrients. What
does this mean, exactly?
This means that eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients may be able to prevent tooth
decay and gum disease, combined with regular oral hygiene habits, of course! Here’s why
apples and a few other key foods might help stop cavities in their tracks.
Apples are crunchy and contain lots of water, which is essential to adequate saliva production.
The firmness of apples can actually help remove plaque from your teeth while you’re chewing
and keep your smile healthy throughout the day. Apples are also high in vitamin C, a nutrient
that’s essential for gum health.
Carrots, like apples, are crunchy and are great plaque-fighters. Combine this with chewing and
you’ve got a toothbrush snack in your hands! Baby carrots or traditional carrots are excellent
snacks for your teeth. Chewing carrots can increase saliva production, which helps nourish your
teeth and stops bad bacteria from eating away at your tooth enamel.
Calcium is an essential nutrient to your smile and fortunately is found is many foods. Foods
such as unsweetened yogurts, cheese, and milk can all strengthen your teeth and help protect
against cavities. If you can’t eat dairy, you’re in luck—leafy greens contain calcium too! These
greens include spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. Enjoy!
Celery is firm and can help scrub your teeth similarly to apples and carrots, but it also packs
another advantage: it’s about 95% water. This means it’s counting towards your hydration,
helping your oral bacteria, and providing you with a delicious and healthy snack. Top with
peanut butter, cream cheese, or almond butter for extra flavor.
A growing body of research is showing that essential fatty acids such as omega-3s may play an
important role in protecting your smile from gum disease. These omega-3 fatty acids are most
present in fish. You can also receive vegetable-based forms from chia seeds, flax seeds, and
avocadoes. Nuts such as walnuts are also a great source!
Foods to Avoid
Dentists often recommend avoiding processed foods, and with good reason—many of them
contain sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can easily stick to teeth and cause tooth decay.
Foods to avoid include soda, anything sticky and sweet (think candy), chips, and even granola
bars, which can have high amounts of sugar. Reading the nutrition label and being aware of
how much sugar you’re consuming can help you make healthier choices for a healthier smile.
Are you ready to fight tooth decay with these healthy foods? You don’t have to let cavities take
over your smile as a result of your diet. By consuming the right foods, you can have a beautiful
smile for life. With the right nutrition, regular dentist visits, and some savvy oral care
techniques, you can protect your smile from decay and shine on!