It's that time of year again—National Nutrition Month! This March, we're celebrating healthy lifestyles and the importance of making smart food choices. Eating the right foods can greatly impact your oral health, so here are the top foods to eat (and avoid) for healthy teeth and gums.
What to Eat for Healthy Teeth and Gums
When it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene, certain types of food will help you achieve your goals. Here are some of the top foods that keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals to help keep your teeth healthy. The crunchy textures also act as a natural "toothbrush" in helping scrub away plaque. Examples include apples, carrots, celery, pears, spinach, and tomatoes.
- Dairy Products: Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones, so ensure you get enough through dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk. Dairy also contains lactic acid, which helps reduce bacteria in the mouth.
- Nuts: Almonds contain Vitamin E, which helps strengthen gum tissue. They're also low in sugar, meaning less risk of tooth decay than other snacks like candy or cookies.
- Water: Last but not least is water! It keeps you hydrated throughout the day and helps rinse away food particles from your mouth after eating, reducing bacterial growth in between brushing/flossing sessions.
What to Avoid for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Certain types of food are good for your teeth, but there are others you should avoid. Here are some examples:
- Sugary Beverages/Foods: Sugary drinks such as sodas or juices contribute to tooth decay by fueling bacteria between brushing/flossing sessions (and let's face it—no one likes cavities). Dried fruits may seem like a healthier alternative since they don't have added sugars, but they tend to stick around longer than fresh fruit because they contain more concentrated amounts of sugar. So if you choose dried fruit over fresh fruit, brush afterward!
- Sticky Foods: Starchy or sticky foods can easily get stuck between teeth where they fuel bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay or gum disease over time (think potato chips or raisins). If you opt for these kinds of snacks, thoroughly brush afterward!
- Acidic Foods/Beverages: Citrus fruits or acidic beverages can cause harm to tooth enamel by eroding it over time, so try limiting how often these enter your diet if possible!
Call Scott Greenhalgh, DDS today at (303) 988-9060 for a consultation if you're seeking a cosmetic dentist in Denver, Colorado.