Over the years, many foods have been recognized as being good for our teeth. When it comes to all the many foods we have the choice to eat, what are some surprising options that pack some major health benefits for teeth? The following foods may just help you keep your oral cavity healthy!
Salmon and Other Fish
Salmon and other types of fish including tuna and sardines are high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Omega-3s have also been shown to help heal gum tissue in patients with periodontal (gum) disease .
Vitamin D supports the body with many functions, among them being keeping your teeth and alveolar bone strong, which is the bone in your jaw that supports the teeth . For the highest nutrient content and benefits, choose wild-caught fish!
All dark green leafy vegetables are excellent for oral health, and spinach is no exception. Filled with vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium, these nutrients are all beneficial for our smiles as well as our bodies . Calcium can help strengthen tooth enamel, and vitamin C is essential for gum health! Iron helps support your body’s natural response to infections, and potassium, as we’ll soon see, is another key player in bone health!
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices that we add to our foods such as garlic, clove, turmeric, and ginger are anti inflammatory. For example, the active component in turmeric, called curcumin, has the potential to treat oral diseases such as gum disease and even oral cancer .
However, while they do have their benefits, keep in mind that these spices are pungent and some, such as turmeric, can stain teeth. Water is a great buffer when consuming foods with these healthy spices, and of course, getting regular dental cleanings can keep your teeth white!
The perfect fall food, sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which supports a healthy saliva production. Saliva plays an essential role in the oral cavity, and helps to balance not only oral bacteria, but the pH of the mouth as well, therefore preventing tooth decay and supporting gum health .
Did you know that avocadoes have more potassium than a banana? In fact, eating a whole avocado gives you more than 20 percent of your daily potassium requirements .
The high potassium content of avocados makes them beneficial for oral health, as potassium works with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to keep your bones and teeth strong.
Avocados may even play a potential role in preventing oral cancer—plus they’re loaded with healthy fats, which can help fight the inflammation present in most diseases .
Do you enjoy any of these healthy foods? Adding these foods to your diet might just support systemic as well as oral health, which are, of course, connected! Next time you’re at the store, consider adding these fresh foods and helpful spices to your cart for healthy teeth and gums!