Brush your teeth three times a day, they said. It will be good for your oral health, they said. While brushing your teeth and flossing daily indeed helps you have healthier teeth, gums, and mouth in general, it will never be enough.
The food and drinks that we let to enter inside our mouth also dramatically affects our oral health. The spreading of germs starts the minute we put food inside our mouth. The bacteria convert our food into acids, which attacks our teeth for at least 20 minutes or longer after we finish eating. It is the main culprit attacking the enamel, which leads to tooth decay.
The more we eat and chew our food, the more we expose our teeth to the decay cycle. If the food we eat is converted into acid and attacks the enamel of our teeth, do we have to stop eating to avoid tooth decay? Of course not! We cannot stop eating as it is also an essential part of our wellbeing.
That is why it is essential to be cautious with our food choices to maintain having pearl white teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. Some food attracts tooth decay, while others prevent plaque build-up. In this article, we will discuss the kind of food which helps you have an excellent oral health condition.
Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and fat-free milk are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are both critical in keeping our teeth and bones healthy. The calcium and phosphorus provided by dairy products protect our tooth enamel. It also helps regain the minerals that we lost from eating unhealthy food.
Cheese specifically helps in the production of saliva; the increase of saliva helps washes out bacteria inside our mouth. Yogurt, on the other hand, helps reduce plaque and gingivitis. On top of that, yogurt also helps reduce hydrogen sulfide, a chemical that can be linked to developing bad breath.
Aside from yogurt, cheese, and milk, other calcium and vitamin D-rich foods like tofu, almonds, canned salmons, beans, and broccoli can also be an alternative.
Raisins might be sweet, but it does not contain sugar or an artificial sweetener, which attracts plaque build-up. Raisins are naturally sweet and contain phytochemicals that can fight cavity-causing bacteria. A recent study shows that raisins are also rich in antioxidants that help prevent the growth of bacteria, causing gum inflammation and gum disease.
Did you notice how much effort you put in chewing apples and other crunchy fruits and vegetables like pears, carrots or cucumbers? All those crunching help disturb the production of dental plaque, the more you chew, the more it interrupts the plaque build-up. On top of that, apples have a high water content which stimulates saliva flow, leading it to rinse our mouth and protecting our teeth from cavities naturally.
Mainly black and green tea, both contain polyphenols which can prevent bacteria from spreading and attacking the teeth. Green tea is also rich in an antioxidant called catechins, which, according to studies, helps lower the risk of gum disease.
A study from the University of Illinois in Chicago revealed that rinsing the mouth with black tea can also prevent plaque build-up. The research shows that people who clean their mouth with black tea for at least one minute ten times a day had less plaque build-up than those who only rinse with water.
Munching on whole-grain like corn, quinoa, and brown rice can help reduce the risk of gingivitis. A study from the American Journal in Clinic Nutrition shows that men who had at least four servings of whole-grain daily reduce cases of periodontal disease or gingivitis.
If you are pregnant, whole grain should also be your go-to snack. It is rich in folic acid, which is excellent for the development of your baby’s oral health. Folic acid helps prevent the development of fetal clefting of the lip and cleft palate.
Chewing gum helps in saliva secretion that aids in washing out bacteria. Just make sure to chew on sugarless gums as other gums containing tons of sugar can attract bacteria build up. Other sugar-free gums also contain xylitol, an ingredient that helps to reduce bad odor temporarily. Xylitol can reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease too.
Citrus fruits like oranges, berries, melons, mangoes, kiwi, papaya and pineapple are rich in Vitamin C. When you eat citrus fruits; it prevents bacteria build-up inside your mouth by creating an acidic environment. It also helps prevent the development of bad breath, gum disease, and gingivitis. Vitamin C-rich fruits also aid in the healing process when you have a sore tongue, bitten cheeks or tongue, as well as after dental-surgery.
Just like tea, cranberries are also rich in polyphenols, which prevents plaque from clinging on to the teeth. Therefore, these tart berries lower the risk of cavities. A study from the University of Rochester Medical Center also found out that the cranberry juice dissolves glucon or the formation of the building blocks of plaque.
However, the research suggests avoiding packed cranberry juices in grocery stores as it already contains sugar, which causes cavities leading to tooth decay.
What to Avoid?
Now that you know varieties of snacks to keep your mouth healthy, it is also better to know what food and beverages to avoid to maintain excellent oral health. Stay away or better forget about the following:
- Sticky and sweet candies
- Sour candies
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Starchy foods like chips
- Sports drinks
- Dried fruits
- Garlic and onions
- Herbs and spices
Taking care of your mouth by regularly brushing your teeth, flossing, and eating healthy foods can only do so much. It is also better to work with experts in making sure that you are getting utmost oral health care. For more oral health tips and information, you can check out sites such as g4bygolpa.com, or visit your health partners and dental clinic.