Everyone knows that sugary foods can lead to problems with teeth and gums, but did you know that eating the right foods can actually help combat problems such as gum disease and improve the health of your teeth? The benefits of good brushing and flossing are enhanced tremendously when supported by a healthy diet and there are plenty of foods that will help improve your smile.
Eat Lots of Fruit and Vegetables
When it comes to lowering the number of dental negligence claims UK citizens could learn a lot by eating foods which are common in the Mediterranean regions. Mediterranean diets tend to have a very high level of fruit and vegetables with plenty of vitamin C which is essential for keeping gums healthy. Foods such as oranges, kiwi fruit, broccoli and celery are all rich in vitamin C and can really help to combat problems with teeth and gums.
Eaten raw, celery is particularly beneficial as it helps you produce more saliva which helps combat cavities by remineralising your tooth enamel as well as massaging your gums and cleaning between your teeth while you are chewing it. Citrus fruits are also great for stimulating saliva production and are essential to maintain good hydration to keep your gums healthy and lower the risk of gingivitis or periodontitis.
Whole Grains and Pasta
It might come as a bit of a surprise but eating whole grains and pasta can also have a noticeable effect on the condition of your teeth. Foods such as bread and crackers are actually very high in sugars, resulting in increased plaque levels which are very damaging to teeth. Pasta will provide you with carbohydrates to help you feel full without additional sugars. Another benefit to eating foods which make you feel fuller for longer is that you are less likely to reach for the biscuit tin a couple of hours after you've eaten your main meal.
Grains and seeds such as sesame seeds are also very beneficial and are part of the reason our prehistoric ancestors had healthy teeth and gums. Not only are they very rich in vitamin C, they also help to remove plaque as you chew. Try sprinkling some seeds over your salad a few times a week to help with cleaning your teeth while boosting your levels of essential vitamins.
Increase your Intake of Dairy and Fish
Teeth need calcium in order to remain healthy and strong, so it makes sense to eat dairy products to improve their condition. Dairy products also contain nutrients such as protein and phosphorous which are valuable assets when it comes to neutralizing plaque acids. Eating a small cube of cheese after you meal is a great way to combat plaque, but be wary with dairy foods such as fromage frais and yoghurts as they can contain high levels of hidden sugars.
Fish is another great food to eat to improve the health of your teeth and gums as it is a fantastic source of Vitamin D, which is essential to help your teeth use the calcium in your diet. Fish also contains essential fats and oils which promote healthy gums as well as enhancing your skin, hair and nails. Fish is a good alternative to red meat and should be eaten a couple of times a week for optimum health benefits.
Just as with any other part of your body, the health of your teeth and gums is a reflection of how well you look after yourself. Ensuring you have a healthy balanced diet will help to ensure an attractive, happy smile.