Everything that you eat passes through your teeth first. That means what you are eating is incredibly important when it comes to your oral health. The different foods and drinks that you choose, how often you eat them, and your oral health routine can all affect your smile.
We wondered which fruits and veggies would benefit your health the most, so we asked Glen Park Family Dentistry for their insight.
What is a Healthy Smile?
To begin with, let’s take a look at what it means to have a healthy smile. While we will instantly think of a white, straight smile, a healthy smile goes deeper than that. A healthy smile will be devoid of active tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that bores holes into your teeth, causing cavities. Gum disease is when bacteria and plaque slip underneath the gum, causing bone-loss in your jaw and resulting in tooth loss. In order to have a healthy smile, you need to take good care of your teeth and gums. Food is a great way to help with that by neutralizing harmful acids before they have a chance to do any damage to your teeth.
- Apples: Just like the old saying goes, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” apples are beneficial to your smile. Apples will increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, helping to naturally clean any bacteria that might be building and remove any acids in your mouth. This only applies for actual apples, not apple juice.
- Celery: Celery is fibrous like apples and will naturally help remove any buildup or bacteria that is on your teeth. Chewing celery is an exercise by itself, and the process can really help keep your teeth clean.
- Carrots: Carrots are also fibrous and the process of chewing them can help clean your teeth. Chewing these vegetables will stimulate your gums and help your mouth produce even more saliva. Carrots also have a large amount of Vitamin A, which is important for your body’s health.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, kale, chard, and cabbage, will also help your oral health. Leafy greens contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals that promote tooth health. These nutrients include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and beta carotene.
- Berries: Berries are another fruit that will help your dental health. Berries are full of anthocyanins, which prevent bacteria from forming within your mouth. Bacteria is responsible for causing plaque and tooth decay.
It is also important to make sure that these healthy fruits and vegetables are part of your daily diet. You need to snack more on raw fruits and vegetables than carb-rich foods. If you can integrate these foods into your daily diet, you will not only improve your dental health, but you can help you physical health as well. Make these foods your norm to help you stay on track with them long-term. It is also important to avoid unhealthy habits, such as drinking sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit juices, and any other non-nutritious snack that might do more harm than good to your teeth.
Time of Day Matters
When you are eating healthy foods during the day also helps ensure that you are getting the most of the nutrition. For example, if you eat apples for breakfast, but have breads for dinner, the apples will not be as useful as they would have been at the end of the day. It is ideal to eat the raw fruits and vegetables at the end of meals, when they might help you out by removing any buildup that your teeth might have experienced during the meal.
It is also important to not eat sugary and starchy foods right before bedtime. The sugars that your saliva will be battling with can pool inside of your mouth all night, causing a lot more bacteria than you might have experienced otherwise. It is best to not eat right before bed and make sure that you have thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth.
While eating healthy fruits and vegetables can be wonderfully helpful for your teeth, it is also important to continue with your daily homecare. Eating veggies is not a substitute for brushing your teeth. To maintain a healthy smile, brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day, in addition to paying a visit to your dentist twice a year.