At Scott Edwards Cosmetic And Family Dentistry, we put a lot of emphasis on the importance of a good dental hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing properly is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth clean and your whole mouth happy, but it’s only one part of the equation when it comes to optimal oral health. A nutritional diet is an essential part of caring for our bodies, but did you know the phrase “you are what you eat” can apply to your smile as well?
Most of us are aware that acidic items can erode the tooth enamel, too much sugar can lead to decay, and starchy foods may linger in your mouth a lot longer than you’d like, inviting bacteria to set up shop. However, there are also a number of foods out there that can actively improve your oral health. Along with brushing and flossing regularly, eating the right kind of food can further strengthen your teeth and keep cavities away. Let’s take a closer look at how you can eat your way to a healthier smile!
Our bones are big fans of calcium, but they’re not the only part of the body to benefit from it. Calcium also plays an important role in helping teeth maintain their structure, and contributes to their remineralization process. In fact, a lack of calcium can increase your chances of developing tooth decay! To get an extra boost of protection, consider adding dairy products to your daily diet.
Do you love cheese? We’ve got some good news for you! Snacking on cheese in its many forms can raise the pH in your mouth and help lower your risk of tooth decay. The protein content also strengthens the tooth enamel. If you’re not a fan of cheese, no worries. Plain yogurt with no added sugar is another great choice for improving oral health. It’s also high in calcium and protein, and comes with an added boost of beneficial bacteria from naturally-occurring probiotics. These will multiply and help crowd out the bad bacteria that lead to cavities forming.
An apple a day will keep the doctor away – and it can keep you out of our office, too! it can keep your child out of the dentist’s chair, too! Apples have a high water content, stimulating the production of saliva and helping to rid the mouth of bacteria and any stray food debris. They’re also full of fiber, which stimulates the gums and can act as a mild astringent for your teeth, giving them a gentle boost of brightness. Pro tip: put that peeler away! Many of the best oral benefits are found in the apple skin.
Like apples, crunchy carrots are also full of fiber, and eating them encourages the production of saliva. Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, since it helps wash away any sugar or food debris left in your mouth after eating. It also reduces the acids that eat away at tooth enamel. The vitamin A contained in carrots helps to build the enamel up, as well. This further protects your teeth from damage.
In keeping with the crunchy theme, celery is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. This watery vegetable also contains antioxidants that give your gums a healthy boost. The fiber found in the stalks is unique in that it can act a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bad bacteria off your teeth. It may be a little bland, but celery is definitely beneficial to your dental health!
Leafy greens are a health food staple for a reason. Besides being naturally low in calories and chock-full of vitamins and minerals, greens also help to promote oral health. This is especially true for darker greens like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. The high calcium content in these veggies also builds up the enamel of the teeth, and they contain folic acid, which has numerous health benefits. The antioxidants and vitamins found in leafy greens can help combat cavities while also serving as a good source of calcium to keep teeth strong.
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and other nuts are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals that benefit the teeth, including omega-3 fatty acids that strengthen teeth and support healthy gum tissue. Almonds in particular are an amazing addition to your diet, since they’re full of good stuff like calcium, fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. If you suffer with inflammation in your mouth, vitamin E can help relieve it, and calcium has been proven to keep the teeth strong and healthy. Nuts are also naturally low in sugar, so they’re a great snacking choice.
Keep your smile healthy from the inside out
By choosing a healthy diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and a moderate amount of dairy, you’ll be giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and protect the teeth and gums. By pairing good food with a solid dental hygiene routine and regular check-ups with our office, you’ll be on your way to a healthy smile that shines from the inside out!
If you’re in Memphis or the Mid-South area and would like to learn more about how a nutritious diet can help maintain your dental health, get in touch with us today. We have two convenient locations in Midtown and East Memphis to better serve you. Dr. Scott Edwards, Dr. Julia Prince, and Dr. Kenny D. Groshart II are experts committed to providing the highest quality dental care in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Our talented team expects excellence in everything we do, so you can feel confident that your smile is in the right hands with Scott Edwards Cosmetic And Family Dentistry.