When we were kids, our parents would tell us that our teeth would rot off if we ate too many sweets. As adults, we might consciously avoid foods that are bad for our teeth to keep a confident smile, saving us from costly trips to a dental implant clinic. Knowledge of foods that negatively affect our teeth seems quite common, but do we know just as much about foods that promote oral health?
Here are some of the foods you should be eating to maintain a healthy smile.
Milk and milk products in general are rich in calcium and phosphorus. These minerals strengthen tooth enamel and contribute to its remineralization. Since eating dairy products helps stimulate saliva secretion, these foods also aid in balancing the pH levels in the mouth and protecting teeth from bacteria.
For lactose intolerant people, you can substitute cow’s milk with soy milk. However, soy milk usually has less calcium than regular milk, so you might have to go for soy milk enriched with more calcium to still get the same benefits.
Tooth enamel is created with the help of proteins regulated by vitamin D, and most of the fortified cereals available in the market contain ample doses of this vitamin. Since it is normally eaten with milk, cereal for breakfast could help a lot in keeping your teeth in top condition.
Eggs are another traditional breakfast staple that strengthens your teeth. Similar to cereals, they also contain plenty of vitamin D which fosters oral health.
Eating cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, and carp also help in keeping your smile healthy and strong. There are all great natural sources of vitamin D, especially when consumed raw.
Animal protein in meat is a great source of phosphorus. When teamed with calcium and vitamin D, phosphorus is particularly effective in strengthening the tooth enamel.
If you are vegetarian though, you may consider eating tofu instead, since it contains plenty of protein as well as calcium and magnesium.
Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are filled with calcium and vitamin K, both of which are boosters for bone formation. Spinach contains phosphorus and magnesium which contribute in strengthening your teeth too. Veggies are high in fiber and, since we need to chew a lot to break them down, they also help in saliva secretion which is necessary to keep the mouth clean.
Tea is a popular source of antioxidants which are important to oral health. Green tea, in particular, contains an antioxidant called polyphenol that sticks to the surface of your teeth to keep off plaque. The kinds of leaves that are typically made into tea also contain fluoride that protects enamel and prevents tooth decay.
Chewing sugarless gum after eating promotes saliva secretion. Although chewing any kind of gum achieves this effect, plaque could form on your teeth as a result of the sugar in other types of gum.
A proper diet is not enough to strengthen your teeth. Couple this with good oral care habits and oral hygiene to ensure that your smile remains as beautiful as it should be.