Top Foods for Oral Health

February 21, 2013

Taking care of our teeth, is important to our overall health. Find out some of the top foods for taking care of your teeth here

Taking care of our teeth, is important to our overall health and well being; without teeth it would be difficult to enjoy a variety of foods of different textures as well as obtain nutrients to maintain and promote health. The foods we choose as fuel and how often we eat affect our general health as well as our teeth and gums.

What are some good foods for your teeth?
Plant foods that require a lot of chewing like apples, celery, and carrots help clean and may even whiten teeth. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps restore the pH balance in your mouth, a low pH can cause damage to your teeth. Celery and parsley are also thought to help freshen breath.

Dairy foods:
According to recent research, probiotics in yogurt (and other probiotics rich foods) help battle bad breath, plaque, and gum disease by creating an undesirable environment for bad bacteria in your mouth. Other probiotics rich options? Try kefir, cottage cheese, and various types of yogurt, but make sure to avoid products with lots of added sugar, and check the label to be sure it contains live, active cultures.

Cheese, particularly cheddar, is also great for your teeth. The fats in cheese work to counteract acids in foods, by restoring the pH balance and cleaning our teeth. Cheese contains calcium and phosphorus which help protect tooth enamel and prevents the build up of plaque. Cheese also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear your mouth of any food particles left on the surface of the tooth.

Vitamins A and C are needed for the absorption of calcium, and calcium is an important element in our teeth. Dark green leafy vegetables have good amounts of chlorophyll, phosphorous, vitamins A and C, all of which are needed for calcium absorption. Chlorophyll is thought to help build enamel and prevent tooth decay, while vitamin C helps reduce plaque from building up.

The amount of sugary sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and energy dense - nutrient poor snacks that Americans consume is a major concern for dentists and other health professionals. In studying the dental health of people from different cultures (typically those isolated from modernization) with good teeth, researchers found that their diets were much higher in vitamins and minerals - particularly calcium and vitamins A and D.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that one of the most important contributing factors to longevity was daily flossing. Flossing helps remove bacteria from the teeth and gums, preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and visiting the dentist for professional cleanings twice a year can go a long way in keeping you healthy! In the mean time, shop smart for good oral health!