The correlation between food and teeth is very close. Adopting the right diet also means taking care of your mouth and your teeth’s health. This way, it’s possible to have a healthier and brighter-looking smile.
To have healthy and strong teeth, your daily routine for your oral hygiene is fundamental, like using a good toothbrush, flossing your teeth regularly, etc. but you must also pay attention to what you eat during the day.
5 types of food that are good for your teeth and gums
The most common trait of the best foods to be consumed is that they’re all low in carbohydrates and sugars. It’s also widely recommended to avoid carbonated drinks. Foods that are good for your teeth must contain nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Let’s see them specifically:
- calcium: the main substance that our teeth and bones are made of. Calcium is found in milk and its derivatives but also in beans, chickpeas, vegetables, or fish, such as squid or shrimp.
- Fluoride: a very important substance for the enamel of our teeth. It is found especially in cereals, spinach or seafood.
- Phosphorus: an important substance to strengthen your teeth and bones. Phosphorus is found mainly in cocoa, eggs, in dried fruits such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios but also in certain types of fish such as salmon, trout, and cod.
- Magnesium: it’s contained in chocolate, dried fruit, whole grains, legumes such as artichokes or lentils.
- Zinc: mainly for its antibacterial properties. It can be found in meat, legumes, shellfish, seeds, nuts, eggs, potatoes, and dark chocolate.
In particular, since it’s not recommended to eat highly sugary foods, it’s preferably recommended to eat chocolate without or with a reduced amount of sugar (dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or above). A study carried in Osaka University, Japan, has found out that the cocoa bean husk has an antibacterial effect on the mouth which can fight against plaque and help prevent cavities.
Dairy products such as fodder and butter, on the other hand, contain a large amount of vitamin K2 , an essential substance for your teeth’s health. Other foods that contain the K2 protein include natto, meat, pate, eggs and chicken.
Salmon is another essential food because it contains vitamin D which decreases the risk of tooth loss. Some useful substances for your teeth are also included in omega 3 which is proven to help reduce and prevent cavities and periodontitis.
4 Vitamins that are good for your oral health
The most important vitamins for your teeth and gums are:
- Vitamin A: it’s mainly linked to your gum’s health. Vitamin A is usually found in fruits and vegetables. It’s better absorbed when taken with fatty products such as eggs, oils or cheese;
- Vitamin B group: especially useful for the gastrointestinal system, for the hair, the mouth, the eyes. They are found mainly in fish, mushrooms and meats
- Vitamin C: it’s contained in citrus fruits and kiwi. A certain amount can also be found in grapes, strawberries or rockets. Vitamin C helps both protect the immune system and the gums.
- Vitamin D: it’s responsible for the absorption of calcium. Some foods in which this substance is present are: mackerel, salmon, trout or tuna.
Best Foods for Dental Health
In conclusion, here’s the complete list of foods recommended to improve your oral health and keep a beautiful smile:
- Citrus fruits and kiwis: very useful to reduce gingival inflammation.
- Fishes like salmon or trout: help your body absorb vitamin D.
- Milk and dairy products: calcium strengthens your teeth, especially in growing age.
- Dried fruits like walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts: in addition to their beneficial properties for your body, they also contain calcium.
- Beans, peas, and lentils: great legumes that contain iron and magnesium useful for keeping your gums healthy.
- Fennel, carrots, or celery: they make your breath and mouth fresher.
- Blueberries and cranberries: the natural compounds in these berries, also known as polyphenols, help ward off harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Liquorice: it helps prevent tooth decay.
- Green tea reduces bacteria proliferation and tooth decay. It’s also an excellent remedy for infections and gum disease. It’s important to rinse your mouth after drinking it because it could stain your teeth
- Water: the drinking water with fluoride, which is contained in toothpaste, decreases the chances of tooth decay. It also clears and removes leftover foods, and it also increases saliva production, which plays a huge role in maintaining oral health.
How to take care of your smile beyond your diet
As mentioned before, taking care of your teeth doesn’t mean just paying attention to your nutrition but it also means brushing your teeth twice a day, eliminating all the residues of foods stuck between your teeth.
The combined action of a toothbrush, dental floss, brush and mouthwash will help you clean, rinse and freshen your mouth.
Doing everything right so far is not enough.
Yes, even if you followed all of our recommendations at home, it won’t be enough to avoid the dentist forever.
It’s certainly not useless, it helps you prevent oral disease, bad breath, and yellow teeth, but you must regularly visit your dentist (once every 6 to 12 months max) for professional teeth cleaning.
Plaque and tartar will relentlessly build up every day, slowly, if you follow our recommendations, but surely. It also doesn’t help that tartar usually builds up mostly behind your teeth, which is very hard to keep an eye on.
Visiting regularly your dentist will also help you take early action on the first stage of any oral disease, from simple gum disease and cavities to the most dangerous and potentially threatening oral diseases.
Better nutrition, better oral health, a better life.
About The Author:
Dr. Giovanni Mazzei was born in Cosenza, but grew up and studied in Rossano Calabria. He was a Lecturer for the Hospital Medical School in Surgery of Oral Lesions. He holds the Certificate of Training in Management of Complex Dental Cases established by the Saint George Institute of Chicago.