Good oral health is typically associated with brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. While these are crucial factors for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, there are plenty of additional ways you can keep your pearly whites in tip-top condition. A patient’s diet isn’t usually something most of us would think of when it comes to a healthy smile, but it can actually have a significant impact on oral health.
Keeping your sugar consumption to a minimum and adding in foods that will benefit your teeth are great additional ways you can boost your oral health. To explain more on a dental-friendly diet, Dr. Derek Hoffman explains the top eight teeth-friendly food choices for our patients here in Lincoln.
Foods That Harm Your Smile
Before we get into great foods for your oral health, we’d like to point out some foods that you should avoid. A good general rule to follow is to avoid an excess of anything with a high amount of sugar. Sugar is bad for your teeth because harmful bacteria in your mouth will feed upon it and create an acid. This acid will then wear away at the protective layer of your teeth known as tooth enamel. Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it’s still subject to demineralization. After your tooth enamel has worn away, you are more susceptible to oral health problems like tooth decay or gum disease. Some foods and beverages to avoid include:
Starchy Snacks: Are you guilty of snacking on potato chips? This starchy snack won’t just affect your waistline. Chips have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth after eating and the harmful bacteria will use this to great acids.
Soda: Whether it’s diet soda or not, your oral health can take serious damage due to soda consumption. Not only is the sugar content very high in sodas, but it also contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is added to give a sharper flavor but it also weakens your tooth enamel.
Anything With A Lot of Sugar: There are plenty of food and drink items you might not suspect, so we recommend looking at food labels. Anything with a high sugar content can damage the health of your smile.
Top Eight Foods for Oral Health
Fortunately, there are also several foods and beverages that can help boost your oral health. Here’s a quick look at some of the best foods you can incorporate into your diet for healthy gums and teeth:
Cheese: Cheese lovers can rejoice in knowing that this food can benefit their smile! The American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raises the pH of the individuals’ mouths, which lowers the risk of tooth decay.
Cranberries: Cranberries are great for your oral health because a recent study found that cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria. This stops plaque before it forms and causes destruction to your smile.
Crunchy Veggies and Fruits: Crunchy fruits and veggies act as a natural dental floss for your smile. Many times, chewing on a crunchy fruit or veggie can help disrupt bacteria build-up on your teeth.
Calcium-Fortified Dairy Products: As we all know, calcium is important for healthy teeth. Adding in calcium-dense foods to your diet will also help strengthen your jawbone, which is the foundation of your smile.
Ginger Root: Need to add flavor to your meal? Adding ginger root is a great choice because it’s anti-inflammatory properties help promote healthy gums.
Green Tea: Green tea is known for it’ overall health benefits, but did you know it can also benefit your oral health? Studies show that its anti-inflammatory properties can benefit periodontal health.
Onions: Include onions in your diet to help boost your smile! Raw onions, in particular, have bacteria-busting properties that will benefit your smile.
Almonds: Including almonds in your diet can benefit you because of the calcium and lower amount of sugar. They are also great for overall health because almonds are a good source of protein.
Contact our Office
As you can see, you can include plenty of great food choices for a healthy smile! If you have any additional concerns about your oral health, feel free to contact our office in Lincoln!