10 Foods That Promote A Healthy Mouth
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but will it keep the dentist away?
When it comes to good oral health, you really are what you eat.
Sugary foods and drinks like candy and soda can rot your teeth right out of your mouth.
One of the first areas to decline when you eat a poor diet lacking in nutrients is your oral health.
We discuss how your oral health impacts your overall well-being here.
In the article below, we've put together a list of ten foods that will make your mouth smile.
- How Does Food Promote Oral Health?
- Leafy Greens
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Do I Need To Brush After Eating Healthy Foods?
Just like any other part of your body, your teeth and gums require proper nutrition to function at their best.
That means you need the right amount of nutrients and minerals in your diet that serve as the building blocks for your teeth and their protective enamel.
Certain foods also contain natural chemical compounds which can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Other foods can stimulate your salivary glands which can help was away sugar and bacteria.
Now, without further ado, let's look at the foods that promote oral health.
Almonds are low in sugar and a great source of calcium and protein, making them an ideal snack as well as a great way to keep your mouth healthy.
Add some almonds to a salad for added flavor, or mix them in with your next stir-fry dinner for an extra element of texture.
They're also good dry roasted on their own.
Just about everyone enjoys a piece of cheese every once in a while, and if you're looking for a reason to indulge even more, now you have it.
General Dentistry published a study that found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subject's mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay.
The thought is that the chewing required to each cheese increases saliva in the mouth.
Cheese also contains calcium and protein, two of the nutrients that strengthen enamel.
Rich in calcium, yogurt also helps you strengthen the protective enamel on your teeth.
Recent studies have also found that yogurt can also help alleviate bad breath by reducing odor-causing compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, inside the mouth.
Researchers say this is because of the lactobacillus bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus (that was a mouthful), and other beneficial bacteria found in yogurt.
Just read the nutrition label before you buy your yogurt and make sure it isn't full of added sugars.
Carrots are a crunchy source of essential nutrients like vitamin A.
This is an easy food to pack as an afternoon snack or as part of your lunch.
Just a handful of raw baby carrots can help increase saliva production that can reduce your risk of cavities.
If you're looking at a healthy food list of any kind, you're likely to find leafy greens.
They are packed full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories.
Leafy greens like spinach and kale also promote oral health because they are high in calcium, which, you guessed it, protects your teeth's enamel.
They are also high in folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including the possibility of treating gum disease in pregnant women.
If you aren't a fan of leafy greens, because many people aren't, add a handful of baby spinach into your next salad or use it as a topping on your next pizza.
You can also try adding leafy greens to your next smoothie.
Typically, you should avoid sticky foods that can easily get stuck between your teeth.
With that said, many researchers now believe certain types of sticky foods can actually help prevent cavities.
According to a study conducted by the Chicago College of Dentistry, raisins contain powerful phytochemicals that appear to fight off the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
Cranberries and dried plums will have a similar impact as long as you brush your teeth shortly after eating.
An apple a day can keep your dentist away as well.
Apples are on the sweeter side, but they have a high water and fiber content.
When you eat apples, you're increasing the saliva in your mouth, which will help rinse away bacteria and food particles.
Thanks to the fiber in the apple's skin, your gums are also stimulated.
Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery, and full of those pesky strings.
But, like carrots and apples, it acts as a bit of a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth.
It's also a good source of vitamins A and C, which are two antioxidants that will give the health of your gums a boost.
Make celery even tastier by topping it with almond butter.
Oats have long been associated with improved overall health, and recently they have been linked to better periodontal (gum) health as well.
According to a study from McMaster University in Canada, whole grain fruits like oats, barley, bran, and brown rice may indirectly improve oral health by improving the body's ability to process blood sugar.
Studies are finding that these edible mushrooms from East Asia can prevent cavities and gum disease due to several biologically active compounds.
Those compounds include carvacrol, adenosine, copalic acid, and erythritol.
Now that you know ten foods that promote the health of your mouth don't think you can ditch your toothbrush.
Without regular brushing, even the healthiest foods will promote plaque. That's why it's so important to brush your teeth after eating, even if you're only eating the foods from the list above.
You also shouldn't abandon your dentist.
Even if you're doing everything else right, you should still see your dentist at least once a year, preferably twice.
Your dentist will give you a cleaning that will ensure your teeth stay healthy, and they will be able to spot any potential problems before you would be able to.