So, you want healthy teeth. Or, at least, your dentist really wants you to have healthy teeth. You just want your teeth to look their best, right?
Well, as it turns out, you and your neighborhood dentist can both get what you want. You just have to know what foods to eat….and what not to eat.
Ok, so it’s really no surprise that sugary junk food = bad teeth. But, what foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy and beautiful? Search no more.
1 Apples. An apple a day keeps the dentistaway? Well, it isn’t a sure-fire way to prevent cavities, but apples can give your teeth and gums a good scrubbing in a pinch. Chewing an apple produces enough saliva so that bacteria gets rinsed away, and it also stimulates your gums. Plus, apples are high in fiber and water – both of which are outstanding for your overall health.
2 Yogurt. High in calcium? Check. High in good bacteria (probiotics)? Check. Tastes great in smoothies? Double-check. Yogurt is a fantastic multi-tasker food that strengthens your bones and teeth and crowds out bad bacteria in your mouth to prevent cavities. Just be sure to choose yogurt that is low in sugar. Lots of yogurts on the market taste fantastic but have more sugar than your average candy bar.
3 Cheese. Like yogurt, cheese gives an amazing boost of calcium and protein. That dynamic duo protects your tooth enamel and strengthens bones and teeth. Keep in mind that a little cheese goes a long way for your health. In other words, small servings of cheese are best and you definitely shouldn’t start ordering extra cheese on your pizza.
4 Leafy greens. You’re not surprised to see this on the list, are you? Leafy greens have the best of both worlds: low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals. If you aren’t in love with spinach and kale, try sneaking them into smoothies. Or, here’s a fantastic way to cook kale with bacon (everything’s better with bacon, right?!?): http://bit.ly/2cjZdUR
5 Raw carrots. Cooked carrots have fantastic health benefits for your body and teeth, but raw carrots have the power to increase your saliva production and decrease tooth decay. Cooked or raw, carrots are high in fiber and vitamin A. If you’d really rather have your carrots cooked, here’s a quick roasted carrot recipe for you: Combine a one-pound bag of baby carrots, two teaspoons of olive oil, a half-teaspoon salt, and a bit of pepper. Spread them on a jelly roll pan, and bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes (stir them after about 10 minutes). Easy and delicious!
6 Almonds. Little nut, big impact. Almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar, making it a real win-win for your teeth. Grab a handful each day (about ¼ cup), and you’ll be good to go. We’re nuts (get it, nuts?!?) about Blue Diamond Lightly Salted almonds. They have just the right amount of salt. No, we’re not sponsors, just fans. And, if making a specific product suggestion gets our patients to eat more almonds, it’s a big win for us.
So, now you’re probably wondering what you should drink. First, let’s start with what you shouldn’t drink to keep your teeth healthy. Avoid soft drinks (diet or regular), since they can break down the tooth enamel. Also, avoid any sugar drinks since they can cause tooth decay.
Here are your best bets:
1 Water. Ah, good old H2O. Not only does it keep you hydrated, it washes away any bacteria in your mouth. You can never go wrong with a tall drink of water for healthy teeth.
2 Milk. Not only is milk high in calcium (for strong bones and teeth), it can prevent cavities. In a study done by the American Dental Association, they found that drinking a glass of milk after eating dry sugary cereal lowered acid levels in the mouth more than apple juice or even water did. Unfortunately, adding milk to your bowl of sugary cereal doesn’t have the same effect (bummer). So, go ahead and drink a glass of milk after eating that big slice of chocolate cake!
3 Black and green tea. As it turns out, black and green teas are full of polyphenols which slow the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. They also help fight bad breath, so cheers to that!
So, which of these healthy-teeth superfoods are you going to eat this week? Enquiring minds want to know. 😉