Dentists and patients alike are becoming increasingly aware of just how important diet is for oral health. What you eat not only provides your teeth with the nutrients they need to stay strong, but it can also influence your oral bacteria, inflammation in the body, and even your gum health.
Brushing and flossing your teeth—as well as visiting your dentist regularly—go a long way towards preventing tooth decay. However, your diet may be the missing link when it comes to preventing cavities and keeping your smile strong and beautiful for life.
These five foods are some of the best for your oral health!
All dark leafy greens are good for teeth, including collard greens, swiss chard, and kale. These are all fiber-rich vegetables that encourage chewing and saliva production . However, what makes spinach so special is all of its nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus, which are both important minerals for your smile. Spinach also has iron, vitamin K, and vitamin C, all of which help support healthy gums and teeth.
Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, herring, and anchovies are all high in omega-3s. These are essential fatty acids that are crucial for several processes in the body, including cognitive function, controlling inflammation, and yes, your oral health! Salmon is particular is high in omega-3s and vitamin D, which can help lower inflammation and may even help prevent gum disease .
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another great vegetable for your dental health. Not only do these potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, meaning they can reduce blood sugar spikes, but they also have more antioxidants than white potatoes, including vitamin A. Vitamin A not only helps support healthy gum tissue, but it also helps support keratin, which is a protein that helps keep tooth enamel strong .
An apple a day keeps the dentist away? Maybe! Apples are crunchy and can help clean teeth, all while encouraging saliva production, which can help balance oral bacteria and prevent cavities and bad breath. Apples contain natural sugar, but they also have a high fiber and water content to balance it out, making them beneficial for teeth. Apples also have vitamin C to support gum health. Choose your favorite variety and chomp away!
Almonds are high in protein and calcium, which are both essential for your dental health. You can also find calcium in other nuts, dark leafy greens, dairy products, and fortified soy products such as tofu and soymilk . Almonds are also high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant which may help lower inflammation and improve gum disease.
Which Foods Are Your Favorite?
When it comes to foods that are great for your dental health, you have many options. Whether you love kale or spinach, almonds or cheese, you can eat healthy to support your teeth and gums and impress your dentist during your next checkup!