We’re often given tips about what foods to eat and which to avoid in order to stay healthy, but diet isn’t mentioned as often when it comes to our dental health. We’re told as kids that too much sugar can rot our teeth, but which foods should we add to our diet for better dental health?
Calcium is needed in your diet to contribute to healthy teeth and bones, and this is predominantly found in dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt. Yogurt is also good for your gums thanks to all the beneficial bacteria it contains. Be careful of sugary yogurts, though, and try to have as much of the plain variety as you can. Other than dairy, certain vegetables like kale and spinach are also high in calcium.
Scurvy is a disease that is commonly associated with pirates and sailors, and it stems from a lack of vitamin C. One of the characteristic symptoms of scurvy is gum disease, which illustrates how important vitamin C is for the health of your gums. It helps your body repair all the connective tissues, which are vital to the strength of your gums. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes are your best source of vitamin C, but you’ll find it in plenty of other foods such as strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Fluoride is an important ingredient in toothpastes, so it’s obviously good for your teeth. But brushing your teeth isn’t the only way to get this mineral to boost your dental health. Seafood generally contains high levels of fluoride because the mineral exists naturally in sea water. Some vegetables such as carrots and beets are also good sources of fluoride, as well as the skin of potatoes, so don’t peel your spuds if you want a dose of fluoride to boost the strength of your teeth.
Obviously, water is a great alternative to sugary drinks like sodas when it comes to looking after your teeth and gums, but this isn’t its only benefit. It also helps to wash away food particles from your teeth after you eat, since you can’t always brush or use mouthwash every time you eat something. So, swishing water around your mouth after a meal or snack can help to keep your teeth and gums clear of debris. Drinking water regularly throughout the day also keeps your mouth moist, helping to keep bad bacteria at bay.
If you keep plenty of these four elements in your diet and moderate your sugar intake, then it will really boost your dental health. Healthy gums and teeth are important to everyone, so make sure you regularly book in for a check-up with your dentist. And if you wear dentures or partials, then take a look at these diet tips specifically for you.