The Top 10 Foods for Your Oral Health

One of the most commonly ignored ways of maintaining strong teeth is adopting a mouth-friendly diet. While we are always advised to stay away from overly acidic or sugary foods, there isn’t as much emphasis on what we should eat instead.

Foods that Help you Maintain Strong Teeth

Kiwi Fruit

Kiwis are a vital source of vitamin C. While most fruits contain the vitamin, Kiwis have the highest amount of it. Vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen which strengthens the gums and makes them more tolerant to harsh treatment such as corrosive foods and hard brushing. Inadequate vitamin C in the diet causes the collagen to disintegrate which makes the gums weaker and more vulnerable to mouth bacteria. The overall effect is bleeding gums especially after brushing and other periodontal diseases.

Cheese

Dentists advise their patients to chew some cheese after eating very sugary or acidic foods. Sugar attracts bacteria which break it down and produce acid in the process. The acid destroys the tooth enamel and eventually erodes it, which then exposes the tooth to further damage, causing sensitivity to varying mouth conditions such as temperature and salinity. It also tenderizes the gum, making it more sensitive.

 

When cheese is introduced to the mouth, the phosphate and calcium it contains react with the acid to form more neutral compounds which are not very harmful to the teeth, particularly the enamel. It, therefore, prevents cavities and diseases of the gum.

Celery

Celery contains a good amount of fiber. The chewing process stimulates the production of saliva which is essential in neutralizing the acid produced by streptococcus bacteria in the mouth. Chewing is also necessary for massaging the gums and exercising mouth and jaw muscles. This increases the flow of blood in the mouth which prevents stiffness and pain and also circulates nutrients in the root vessels.

This is important in nourishing and strengthening the teeth. Celery also helps in cleaning in between the teeth. Fiber can also be obtained in fibrous fruits such as mangoes, oranges, and sugarcane.

Tea

Tea, especially green tea, contains polyphenols which are important in slowing down the reproduction and growth of bacteria in the mouth. Green tea (and chamomile) includes a catechin compound that acts as a natural antiseptic which kills bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in the mouth. It, therefore, ensures that plague does not form while at the same time preventing cavities and other periodontal diseases. Tea has also been observed to get rid of bad breath. Too much of it, however, may discolor the teeth.

 

Sesame Seeds

These contain high amounts of calcium which as mentioned earlier, is vital in the strengthening of collagen for gum support. The seeds also help in the formation of the tooth enamel. Generally, they strengthen the teeth and gums. Chewing sesame seeds helps to remove plaque. They are also fibrous, and chewing stimulates the production of saliva which helps get rid of acid in the mouth. Additionally, chewing sesame seeds helps to exercise mouth and jaw muscles while massaging the gums at once.

Onions

Onions, especially in their raw form, are essential in getting rid of mouth bacteria. They contain sulfur compounds that act as antiseptics. They slow down the reproduction and growth of mouth bacteria. Remember, however, to brush your teeth after eating onions. If pieces of them are left in the mouth, they may cause bad breath.

Sweet Potatoes

These tubers contain vitamin A which is essential in the formation and strengthening of the tooth enamel. Vitamin A is also important as it helps the gum tissue to heal. It is recommendable especially after the damage of the gums. Sweet potatoes are ideal for people suffering from gum conditions and diseases such as bleeding as they work fast to heal it while also strengthening the tissue. Other sources of vitamin A include broccoli, pumpkins, and carrots.

Yogurt

Yogurt essentially contains calcium which helps in the formation and strengthening of the teeth enamel. Additionally, it contains beneficial bacteria that replace the harmful acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. It is also a good source of protein which is crucial for the growth and development of the gums. Overall results include the prevention of plaque formation, strengthening of the teeth, healing, repair of the gums, and nourishment of the tooth enamel. When purchasing yogurt, remember to choose one with the least amount of sugar.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Apart from the other numerous health benefits, leafy greens contain calcium which is essential in the formation and development of the teeth and gums. They also include folic acid which has been observed to treat gum problems, especially in pregnant women. Greens are also abundant sources of roughage and fiber which, as pointed out earlier, help in the circulation of blood in the mouth during chewing and the removal of food particles between the teeth.

 

Raisins

Raisins contain compounds that are quite beneficial to the mouth. They contain substances called phytochemicals that inhibit the growth and spreading of mouth bacteria. They are also a good source of polyphenols which slough off plague. Raisins, therefore, reduce the formation of cavities which lead to toothaches and other painful gum conditions.

Also, chewing raisins exercises the jaw muscles which improves circulation in the mouth. As mentioned above, this ensures that the teeth are well nourished which is essential in healthy tooth growth and development. Be sure that you buy those with the minimum amounts of preservatives and other chemicals.

Choosing Food That Helps Maintain Your Oral Health

In conclusion, you should try to take care of your teeth as well as you would the rest of your body. Luckily, most of the foods beneficial to the body’s wellbeing are also beneficial to the mouth. For instance, leafy green vegetables provide calcium which is important for the formation of strong bones, nails, and teeth.

When such foods are unavailable, you can consider purchasing supplements but only under the careful guidance of your dentist.

Dr Christopher Sims

After attending the University of Toronto to obtain his DDS, Dr. Christopher Sims made his way to Hamilton to complete an undergrad at McMaster Unversity. But his education didn’t stop there. He’s completed a number of additional courses to best serve his patients and be able to educate them too.

No matter your age, dental condition, and if you have a million questions, Dr. Sims can assist you or your young children in a professional manner and loves answering any of your questions or concerns.
Dr. Sims grew up in Grimsby playing basketball, so he’s always up for talking about the Raptors! He’s also a football fan - go Buffalo Bills! In his free time, if he’s not watching a basketball game or football game, you’ll likely find him working out, cooking (got any new recipe ideas?), and of course, spending time with his amazing family.
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