We’re sure that you must be following a proper oral care regime to maintain your pearly whites. But what about your diet? Are you eating nutrient-enriched foods? Because this might surprise you, but healthy nutrition has a direct relationship with your strong teeth!
Eating a healthy & balanced diet that involves fruits, leafy vegetables, grains, dairy products etc., promotes healthy and strong teeth and gums. This way, you can take the utmost care of your oral as well as overall health.
How good nutrition equals a healthy mouth
By now, we all understand that our body is complex. But the complexity can be solved. Having a healthy food choice can benefit you and your near and dear ones in the long run. One must make food choices wisely. Sugar-filled sweets or beverages and non-nutritious snacks can put your teeth at high risk of decay. Tooth decay takes place because of the accumulation of plaque which comes in contact with sugar and forms the acid that attacks teeth. But wait, did we tell you that it is entirely preventable?
Well, it is. But nutrition plays a significant role. Let's have a look at the food items that are optimal for oral health.
Foods for better oral health
Dairy products - Dairy food items like cheese, milk and yoghurt have a lot of reasons to be considered healthy food for healthy teeth. They are high in calcium which helps to fortify the enamel, maintain bone density, balance the pH level in the mouth and have other perks too. It helps in preserving the tooth enamel and also enhances saliva production, which keeps the bad bacteria at bay.
Crunchy veggies - The vegetables that require a lot of chewing help clean teeth surfaces. Veggies like carrots, celery etc., contain a lot of water and are great cleansers due to the stimulation of saliva, which scrubs the bacteria and food particles as well.
Apples and pears - As the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But will your apple a day keep your dentist away too? Keeping dentists away is never a good option, but to some extent, apples can undoubtedly help your pearly whites. Apple and other fibrous fruits cleanse your mouth and enhance salivation, which neutralises the acid in your mouth.
Nuts - How can we forget nuts when we are talking about the benefits of teeth? Calcium, phosphorus, fibre, vitamins, iron and the list is so long if we try to write the perks our teeth can get out of nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts etc.
Meats - Meats contain important nutrients and, most importantly, produce saliva, which decreases the acid in your mouth and sweeps away the food particles that may lead to teeth cavities or decay. Red meat, fatty fish, and tofu are a few examples that are mineral-rich and protect tooth enamel.
Cranberries and raisins - Cranberries are rich in antioxidant properties. They help in the elimination of plaque properties. But you must not forget that some of the packaged dried cranberries are high in sugar, which may damage your teeth.
Strawberries - Vitamin C is always good for the body and also repairs the tissue in all the body parts. Similarly, in the case of teeth, vitamin C helps in the strengthening of dentin through synthesis and strengthens the gingival fibres for firm attachments with periodontium. This may even whiten your teeth.
Onion and garlic - While they aren't so great for “minty-fresh breath,” little did we know about the medicinal properties of onion and garlic. Their antimicrobial properties fight tooth decay and help make your teeth stronger.
Whole grains - Whole grains are way healthier than simple carbohydrates as they have carbohydrates which stop the bacteria from taking the shape of a cavity. Also, whole grains offer rich nutrients that make your teeth and gums healthy.
Broccoli and kiwi - Fresh broccoli provides you with Vitamin C and K which are important for bone health. Broccoli is a natural teeth cleanser. So, even if you are not a big fan of broccoli, having it in your meal isn't a bad option, as it has ample benefits for your teeth. So does kiwi, which is rich in Vitamin C and is resistant to infections.
A balanced diet is a key
A tooth-healthy diet helps your oral health and is not limited to what you eat or what you avoid. But the timing and way of eating should not be ignored too. Food sequencing is something which everyone should take care of.
While these food items majorly give you healthy diet goals, you must keep a close check and limit your snacking. However, no one is asking you to cut it down completely. Amazing news, right? :)
Foods that you consume in your meal are comparatively less harmful than what you have in snacking. Saliva produced while having a meal lowers the effects of acid, starts to break down carbohydrates, and helps in the clearance of food particles - which in turn helps to prevent cavities.
And most importantly, regular dental check-ups must not be missed. IT-enabled companies like MyDentalPlan have India's best dentists empanelled at India's largest dental network to make oral health affordable and accessible for all. Their curated plans and packages do not hit your pocket and make your smile bright and perfect.
Schedule a demo to learn how your organisation can get the best employee health and well-being experience with ekincare's commitment to quality.
About the author
Dr Deepak Kulkarni is a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience. He is a graduate of the H.K.E Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.