Oral health is often fixated on what you shouldn’t eat. Don’t eat too much sugar, coffee will stain your teeth, and please, please, please no jawbreakers. This focus on what shouldn’t be eaten might lead you to believe that you should get all your nutrients through intravenous injection, but we don’t have to resort to such extreme measures. There’s a plethora of foods you can eat or drink that might actually improve your oral health; most of them are pretty tasty, to boot!
Take black tea, for example! While it might have a bit of a tendency to stain your teeth, it can also reduce the impact of cavity causing bacteria. Lactobacillus and Streptococcus mutans can grow in plaque; black tea has properties which can kill these bacteria. Some research has shown that rinsing your mouth with black tea stops plaque bacteria from producing the acid that eventually leads to cavities. Try to avoid adding sugar to your tea in order to get the most health benefits with the fewest detriments!
Cheese is good for your teeth, and thank goodness for that! A study found that eating cheese raised the pH level in the saliva of adolescents shortly after they ate it; a pH below 5.5 in the mouth puts you at risk of cavities. There’s several possible reasons for why cheese might be helpful to your oral health. You have to chew it, which means you’ll generate saliva, a key component of good oral health. Casein, one of the proteins found in cheese, seems to reduce the likeliness of developing cavities. Calcium and phosphorous, also found in cheese, have an important role in keeping the jaw bone strong, helping you avoid tooth loss. Avoid eating it on a cracker, because those carbs turn into sugar!
An apple a day keeps the dentist away. While you don’t want to overdo eating apples (that darn sugar again), fibrous fruits and veggies are a great way of stimulating saliva production and keeping your mouth healthy. Crunchy fruits and vegetables can also help dislodge plaque, reducing the amount plaque-borne bacteria and making brushing a bit more effective. They’re also jam-packed with essential nutrients that help your mouth and the rest of your body!
The number 1 food to keep a healthy mouth is…water! Water does a lot for your mouth, and it’s consequence free. Your tap water is likely fluoridated; if it’s not, complain to city council after reading our post dispelling fluoride related myths. Fluoride helps fight cavities. Your mouth also needs to generate saliva to properly balance it’s pH; when your dehydrated, this is difficult, and your mouth becomes dry, making you more prone to cavities. Water is also sugar free, so it doesn’t have any of the consequences the other foods on this list might!
At Markham Dental, we’re proud to have experienced dentists who can work with you on your nutritional needs. We’ll help you create a diet, in collaboration with your other medical professionals, that’s well suited to your holistic needs. Schedule an appointment today!