We have all heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat.’ Lets face it, when we eat, one of the first things our food comes into contact with is our teeth. When eating have you ever stopped to wonder how what you are consuming affects your teeth? Perhaps there are certain foods which are better or worse for your teeth? In our latest posting we’ll take a closer look at this relationship.
Proper nutrition is all about eating foods which are good for all your health, not just for your mouth and teeth. However this concept plays a bigger part in the wider dynamic and generally what is good for your teeth is good for you overall.
Before we look at individual foods, let’s consider food groups. Everyone needs a balance of all the food groups. The problem is it is hard to sometimes draw the line. Vitamins, minerals, protein and dairy are all essential things for a healthy body to function and should be encouraged. Foods such as certain fats, saturated fats and certain type of carbohydrates (i.e. sugars) are groups where intake should be limited. Although most people don’t associate it, the relationship between food groups and teeth is fairly well documented.
So what should I actually eat?
When it comes to teeth, dairy products are popular choices and get a big tick from dentists. Any foods such as cheese, milk, yoghurt all contain high levels of calcium (this thought to be the building blocks of good bones and teeth.) Some studies have shown that calcium rich foods can change the composition of the inside of the mouth making it more difficult for the bacteria that cause tooth damage to function.
It is not surprising that ‘green’ food such as vegetables are high on the list of teeth-healthy foods. Vegetables are all high in vitamins and minerals which help the body heal and repair itself. This also makes for healthy teeth.
Apples commonly come to mind when connotations of the dentist is thought about. Apples contain a high water content which encourages the production of saliva, thus helping to rinse away bacteria as you are chewing. The surface of the apple is also thought to stimulate the gums as you are eating the fruit, making apples are all-round good for oral health. Foods such as carrots and cucumber can all is grouped the same as apples in having the same causative effect.
Perhaps surprisingly, some examples of raisins and nuts can also be positive for oral health. Many contain elements of phosphorous, magnesium and iron which can all further provide the teeth with the nutrients they need. Just watch for some varieties because they can also contain too much sugar which should be avoided.
The chewing of sugar free gum can also be very beneficial especially after meals, again encouraging the production of saliva and allowing bacterial breakdown inside the mouth.
We know we are all human and this is easier said than done, but it doesn’t take much to alter what you eat, or shake up a few of the food groups. This will ensure that not only is your overall health improving, but your oral health aswell.
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