Despite advances in dental care, most Americans have some form of tooth decay. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly 92% of adults have at least one cavity, and many have untreated tooth decay.
Partnering with a dentist is the first step to improving your oral health. Beyond that, nutrition is a commonly overlooked component to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. That’s why we’ve put together a list of foods that can help you maintain a healthy smile.
If you fancy yourself a cheese lover, there’s another reason to enjoy it. Aside from being packed with calcium and vitamin D that helps keep your teeth and bones strong, cheese reduces the risk for cavities by raising oral pH.
Cavity-causing bacteria thrive in an acidic environment. When your oral pH drops below a certain level, bad bacteria flourish, multiplying and releasing substances that harm your teeth and gums. Bad bacteria have a much harder time setting up shop when your oral pH is more alkaline.
Saliva is your friend when it comes to keeping your gums healthy, and because leafy greens require more saliva to chew and digest, they’re good for your oral health. The saliva created from chewing leafy greens does more than just break down food. It breaks up a sticky film called plaque that promotes tooth decay. If plaque remains on your teeth, it can harden into tartar and cause gum disease and cavities.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, play a role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Just like your toothbrush, crunchy foods clear away plaque from your teeth and help remove food particles. Making crunchy fruits and veggies a part of your diet each day helps reduce bacterial growth and keeps your mouth healthy.
Rich in beneficial bacteria, yogurt is A-OK for your pearly whites. The probiotics in yogurt help keep the bad bacteria in your mouth in check. Because good bacteria compete for space, they’re effective at crowding out harmful bacteria and limiting their growth, which can help reduce the risk for cavities and gum disease. Keep in mind that not all commercial yogurts contain probiotics. Check the label before buying.
You may have heard that cranberries contain substances called anthocyanins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. However, you may not know that those same substances block bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Cranberry juice reduces the risk for cavities by effectively disarming cavity-causing bacteria. By thwarting the bacterial process of adhering to your teeth, cranberry juice prevents bacteria from doing their dirty work and putting your teeth and gums in jeopardy.
Fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that keeps your gums healthy. Low intakes of vitamin C are linked to an increased risk of periodontal disease, a chronic form of gum inflammation that can lead to tooth loss. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production, the main structural protein that strengthens your teeth and gums. It’s also a major antioxidant that helps reduce gum inflammation.
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that are stored in the body, vitamin C is water-soluble. You excrete excess vitamin in your urine, so a continuous supply is needed to remain healthy. Eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C helps keep your gums and teeth protected.
At Dental Made Easy, your oral health is our top priority. We have convenient New York locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Forest Hills, and Cedarhurst (Five Towns). For comprehensive dental care, call the nearest office or use our convenient online booking form to schedule an appointment today.