Diet for Healthy Teeth

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/Glayan

You may already know that flossing and brushing regularly will keep your teeth healthy by removing food particles and sugars. These particles form a plaque when combined with bacteria that then releases an acid that causes cavities, damages tooth enamel, and sets the stage for gum disease.

Currently, researchers and dentists from the Advanced Dental Group of Hoboken are discovering that some foods are actually good for your teeth, just like some foods can keep your heart healthy. Appropriately, heart health has been correlated to dental health as well, reinforcing the need to have an overall healthy diet.

Here are some promising foods to keep your teeth healthy

Raisins

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which are known to naturally kill bacteria that cause cavities. Raisins are naturally sweet and do not contain added sugar or sucrose, which is great, because sugar allows bacteria to stick to the surface of the tooth causing a disease. Other compounds of bacteria also alter the growth of bacteria that cause gum plague.

Calcium-rich foods

Foods that have calcium, such as leafy greens, almonds, and cheese, will help to keep your enamel strong. Additionally, foods that are rich in phosphorus, such as eggs, fish, and meat, can keep your tooth enamel healthy in the same way. Acidic beverages and foods—on the other hand—may lead to the formation of lesions on the tooth enamel. Therefore, phosphates and calcium help to redeposit minerals back to the developed lesions and keep your jaw bones strong.

Cranberries

Cranberries have polyphenols that prevent the plague from being stuck in your teeth, hence lowering the risk for cavities. Be careful when it comes to buying dried cranberries, however, as most of these have added sugar and can cause more cavities, rather than improving your oral health.

Sugarless gum

A trick you can try after eating is to chew on sugarless gum. Chewing clears bacteria by boosting saliva production. Chewing sugarless gum helps in preventing plaque since bacteria depend on sucrose to form a plaque. There are also many popular brands of gum that contain xylitol, which will restrict bacteria’s ability to grow can cause plaque.

Milk

The American Dental Associations’ researchers found out that drinking a glass of milk and eating sugar-sweetened, dry fruit loops reduced acid levels in the mouth more than drinking apple juice or water did. Some of the acid released by bacteria can be neutralized by milk. However, adding milk to cereals does not have similar advantages. This is because milk tends to be sweet and syrupy, which is not good for teeth. However, drinking a glass of milk after eating dessert like chocolate cakes can protect your teeth. It is a careful balance.

Crunchy foods

Raw foods, such as apples, cucumbers, and carrots, need serious chewing to break them down. Chewing acts as a cleansing mechanism by disturbing dental plague, therefore, instead of settling in your teeth or remaining in the mouth, the bacteria are removed. Keep in mind that all of the foods listed above are natural fruits and vegetables. The same effective cannot be gained by eating crunchy potato chips, or other processed foods that will actually add to the amount of plaque on your teeth rather than help you to get rid of it.

Cheese

Studies have shown that those who eat cheddar cheese have lower levels of acid in their mouths than those who drink a glass of milk or eat yogurt without sugar. Cheese tends to neutralize the acidity of the plaque, creating more ph. balance in your mouth. Also, unlike milk and yogurt, cheese will not have sugar added to it, so your oral bacteria will not be as stimulated by cheese as it is with milk.

Tea

Black or green tea have compounds called polyphenols which are also found in cranberries that help slow growth of bacteria causing gum and cavity disease. Research from the University of Illinois in Chicago shows that people who rinsed their mouth with water had high plaque build-up than those who rinsed their mouth with black tea ten times a day. This reduced the stickiness and size of the plaque because tea destroys the ability of bacteria to cluster together. It might stain your teeth, but the health effects are worth it.

The Journal of Dental Research also found out that black tea prevents bad breath or halitosis because polyphenols inhibit bacteria that produce smelly compounds in the mouth.

Yogurt

Yogurt has good amounts of protein and calcium, just like cheese, which is important for the health and strength of your teeth. Beneficial bacteria ‘probiotics’ in yogurt help to ‘crowd out’ bacteria that causes tooth plaque. When choosing yogurt at the supermarket, consider a variety that has no added sugar.

Timing Matters

In addition to eating healthy foods, you should also think about when you are eating these foods. Carbohydrates, such as bread, should not be eaten late in the day, as even with brushing your teeth, they will have an opportunity to create plaque as you sleep. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of eating carrots to help clean your teeth, you should do it later in the day, helping to create a ph. balance in your mouth before you sleep.

In general, eating sugary or starchy foods before bed will put your teeth at a great disadvantages. The sugars and starches will colonize in your saliva, pooling in your mouth as you sleep, and staking their claim in your mouth.

Regardless, good oral care is incredibly important in maintaining your dental health. You need to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day, to remove any plaque that has built up on your teeth. You cannot eat poorly and expect that a toothbrush will clear it for you, however. It is still important to eat well to have healthy teeth in addition to taking care of your smile.

Healthy teeth greatly depend on having a good diet.

Knowing the different types of food to eat such as tea, cheese, yogurt, raisins, milk, cranberries, and foods rich with vitamins is paramount to your dental health. The combination of eating well and brushing your teeth can help set you on a path of a lifetime of great oral health.

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