When we think about the food we eat, we probably don’t think much about what it does for our teeth or oral health. There’s a reason your parents told you to drink milk when you were a kid—and that’s because it’s one of the superfoods for your teeth. Superfoods are exactly what they sound like. They’re foods that are high in nutrients and are generally good for your health and wellbeing. And when it comes to teeth, there are superfoods out there that can do wonders for your oral health. Here’s what they are and what they do!
Cheese (and really, all Dairy)
Cheese gets a bad reputation for its high fat content. But at the end of the day, cheese in moderation is the perfect superfood for your teeth mainly because of its calcium content. Calcium is one of the most important components of teeth because it is the mineral that primarily makes up bones and teeth. Having strong bones and strong teeth are key to oral health.
Other dairy products like milk and yogurt are also great choices for getting in calcium in your diet. The other bonus to cheese, is that it brings up the acidity levels in your mouth and kicks your salivary glands into high gear. Saliva and a good pH balance are important for keeping your teeth free from plaque and bacteria.
Kale and Leafy Greens
It’s probably no surprise that leafy greens are on this list—because they’re on every list for keeping your body healthy. The reason that kale, spinach and lettuce make it on the teeth superfood list is because they’re not only high in calcium, but they also have folic acid. Folic acid is a type of Vitamin B, which helps patients avoid major dental health risks, including gum disease.
This sweet vegetable isn’t just good for your eyes. Nope! They’re also good for your teeth.
When you eat carrots, your mouth is hard at work chewing which creates more saliva that can wash away plaque and bacteria. But what’s inside a carrot also makes an impact on oral health. Carrots are packed with nutrients and fibre, with Vitamin A and Keratin being two important ones. Both of these nutrients go to work by strengthening your enamel, which in the long term, prevents enamel from wearing away and keeps your smile strong.
While they do make your breath smell questionable, onions are powerful because of their ability to kill off harmful bacteria. When you eat onions, they work as an antibacterial for your teeth and remove the bacteria that hang around the teeth and gums. So if you can live with the smell that comes from eating onions, you may be doing your teeth a favour in the long term.
Salmon and Fatty Fish
Salmon and other fatty fish are perfect for your teeth because of their Vitamin D content. Vitamin D is good for your teeth because it prevents dry mouth, which is a precursor to gum disease and persistent bad breath. Fish is also great for your oral health because they are packed with calcium and they help your body absorb more calcium, which in turn, creates stronger and healthier enamel.
An apple a day may keep the doctor and the dentist away…or at least it will keep the dentist happy until your next complete oral exam! Apples are a water-dense food, which will help clear out bacteria. They are also rich in fibre, calcium, and Vitamin A, plus their texture acts as a natural scrub for your teeth as you eat them.
This food may surprise you, but sweet potatoes are actually very dense with Vitamin C and some studies show they are also helpful when it comes to relieving stress, nerve pain and tooth pain. So if you’re looking for an alternative to your regular French fries or baked potatoes, give sweet potatoes a go and your teeth will thank you later.
Red peppers are similar to sweet potatoes in their Vitamin C content. Their Vitamin C contributes to healthy gums and teeth, and helps your body produce enough collagen, which is key to fighting off gum disease.
This edible fungi is one of the veggies that will help your teeth stay strong. When mushrooms are broken down into the bloodstream, they help absorb calcium, which creates strong teeth and bones. Shiitake mushrooms in particular are also great for getting rid of plaque because of their antimicrobial properties.
Nuts are one of the superfoods that also appear on a lot of superfood lists, and are a key component for dental health superfoods. Nuts not only have calcium and fibre, but they can stimulate the production of saliva from the energy it takes to chew them and crunch them into digestible bits.
Bet you didn’t think a chocolate item would make the list! The reason dark chocolate is good for your teeth is because there’s Cocoa Bean Husk as an ingredient—or CBH for short. CBH actually strengthens tooth enamel and can help patients steer away from tooth decay. Just be sure to only pick dark chocolates—the ones with 70% cocoa or higher—otherwise, there are not enough traces of CBH to help your teeth.
Last But Not Least, Water!
Technically, water isn’t a food, but it is an important superfood…or superdrink, for your teeth! By keeping hydrated with water, you prevent your mouth from drying out and encourage a healthy environment for saliva production. A fun fact: Saliva is made up of 98% water, with the rest composed of enzymes that help kick start digestion. So if you’re not fueling your body with enough water, your saliva won’t have the H20 it needs to work its best.
Another great reason to drink water is that it will help wash away harmful bacteria and plaque that builds up throughout the day. It can be an especially important resource when you don’t have quick access to a toothbrush and toothpaste, to leave your mouth feeling refreshed!
Fuel Healthy Teeth
When thinking about your oral health and daily diet, try to incorporate some of these superfoods to promote healthy bones, gums, teeth and saliva. If you do have concerns about your oral health or need a dental appointment, be sure to contact our Guelph Dentist Office. Our team takes dental health seriously and would like to help you achieve the best smile possible.