Dental Health: 7 Foods That Help Your Teeth and Gums Stay Healthy
Everyone knows all the basics of oral health maintenance: brush in the morning and at night, use dental floss, don’t eat too much sugar, and go to the dentist regularly. But there are specific types of foods that can help us maintain good oral health.
In fact, the foods we eat play an important role in oral health preservation. After all, nutrition is important for each of the trillions of cells in our bodies, including the cells that make up the teeth and gums.
Here are seven of the foods that can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The fibrous nature of pears stimulates saliva production, which has a neutralizing effect on acid. Acid strips away enamel, so anything that helps neutralize it is good for your teeth.
Pears have a stronger neutralizing effect on acid than many other types of fruit.
Eating most fresh raw vegetables is very good for your teeth. Chewing produces lots of saliva, and lots of chewing is required to break down fresh raw vegetables. The added bonus of chewing celery is that it breaks apart into fibrous strands that help clean teeth.
Cheese is very low in sugar and enamel-eating acid, but it’s high in calcium. Cheese also contains casein, a type of protein present in milk. Casein has shown an ability to prevent tooth-decaying bacteria from sticking to teeth.
Casein is also rich in bio-available phosphates that support the remineralization of tooth surfaces.
Yogurt also contains casein, which has calcium and phosphates that support tooth remineralization.
5) Wild Salmon
Salmon is a source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and utilize the calcium (which protects teeth and gums) that you get from cheese, yogurt, and other foods.
6) Sesame Oil
Gargling with sesame oil is a technique called “oil pulling.” A controlled triple-blind study showed that using sesame oil as a mouthwash was highly effective. In fact, the study showed that it was as effective at reducing plaque as gargling with chlorhexidine, a chemical found
in mouthwash [ ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336860].
7) Sugar-Free Gum
There are not many great health claims made about artificial sweeteners, but xylitol can be helpful in maintaining dental health. Xylitol is a sugar replacement that is used in sugar-free gum. Xylitol helps stop the production of enamel-damaging acids that are formed when plaque bacteria metabolizes sugar. Chewing gum can also help remove plaque from your teeth.
In general, you want to avoid foods that combine acid, sugar, and stickiness as much as
possible. Eat foods that really stimulate the salivary glands because saliva helps neutralize acid. And, make sure you consume foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients.