You have probably heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” Summer is the perfect time to switch to flip-flops, but did you know it’s also the right time to change your diet? It’s kind of a myth that summer means more exercise and healthier food choices for everyone. One eye-opening study found that kids gain weight three times faster over summer than they do the rest of the school year, thanks to a steady diet of junk food and video games. Teeth and eating always go together. So, are you eating enough foods good for your teeth? Healthy teeth are one of the best measures of your overall health. With so much confusion about diets and healthy eating, why have we never focused on dental health? The connection is our best way to determine good nutrition. 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. To get started, include servings of these foods into your diet and you will feel a real change in your oral health.
A slice of cheddar can make a grilled burger so much better. Plus, who doesn’t love a cheese platter? Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are low in sugar and rich in calcium and phosphorous, which strengthen and protect enamel. Research also suggests that eating more dairy may lower your chances for developing gum disease. 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.
Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Make celery even tastier by topping it with cream cheese. 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.
Soda and sports drinks are some of the worst drinks for your teeth. They eat away at your teeth, cause dry mouth and are full of sugar. Water, however, is one of the best things you can sip, so serve up a healthy drink with a twist of whatever fruit you’d like. Infused waters are low in sugar and super hydrating.
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.
Onion contains sulfur compounds that are responsible for their taste and smell. These compounds also help protect the plant as it grows from bacteria and fungi. There isn’t a lot of medical research available on onions benefit in tooth decay. The research that has been reported is promising. If you like onions, adding a few rings to salad might help keep the bacteria count down in your mouth but too many raw onions will leave you with a breath problem.