It is common knowledge that a nutritious diet, balancing fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, and protein, is an important aspect of healthy living. Most people are also aware that there are several types of foods to avoid, such as sticky candy and darkly colored soft drinks, in order to maintain your best oral health. However, it is also important to be aware of the foods that can improve the health of your teeth and mouth.
One dietary choice that has proven to boost oral health is drinking tea. Green and black teas contain compounds known as polyphenols that help to stunt the growth of bacteria that could lead to cavities, chronic bad breath, or gum disease. In fact, studies show that black tea may be even more effective than water for rinsing away plaque buildup. Green tea has an added benefit of another type of compound that controls bacterial infection and fights gum inflammation. Drinking green tea has been linked to a decreased chance of gum disease and tooth loss with age. In general, tea decreases the ability of certain bacteria to build up with other bacteria in the mouth and gives your overall oral health a positive boost.
Most people realize that citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C; however, not everyone is aware of how this can benefit your oral health in addition to the health of the rest of your body. Vitamin C can help prevent the breakdown of collagen, which is essential for preventing periodontal disease. Without collagen, delicate gum tissue becomes even more tender and susceptible to bacterial disease. Citrus fruits are not the only way to receive this important vitamin. Strawberries and kiwis actually have the highest levels of vitamin C to reverse discoloration and protect your smile from gum disease.
Calcium rich foods also help to neutralize plaque causing acid levels in the mouth to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Calcium helps to redeposit minerals into lesions in tooth enamel caused by acidic foods and beverages. Cheese has proven to be even more effective for neutralizing plaque acid than milk or yogurt. Nuts and seeds, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, and sesame seeds, are also a good source of calcium, as well as a variety of other important micronutrients.
Some lesser-known super foods for oral health are shiitake mushrooms and onions. Shiitake mushrooms contain a natural sugar known as lentinan that is helpful for preventing gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease caused by a build-up of a biofilm of bacteria. The lentinan found in shiitakes targets the development of those bacterial biofilms so precisely as to kill harmful bacterial, while leaving the non-harmful bacterial completely untouched. Onions, particularly when eaten raw, also provide a boost in your mouth’s ability to fight bacteria.
To be conscious of your oral health it is just as important to be aware of the foods you should add to your diet as it is to be aware of the ones you should limit. For more diet and oral health tips contact Lynn Dental Care today.