If you are what you eat, it’s especially true when it comes to your teeth and gums. You may think you just need to avoid obvious choices like sticky candy or popcorn, but there’s more to it. It’s also about choosing the right things to eat.
Making the right snack choices can keep your smile looking brighter. Read on to discover what’s on this list of smile-friendly foods from Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly at Sokoly Dental.
Why foods matter to the health of your teeth
The foods you eat on a regular basis make a big difference in the health of your teeth. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, the best foods to eat are whole grains, protein, and fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are especially good for your teeth because they have natural fibers, which work to keep your teeth strong and clean.
However, if you eat a typical American diet, you probably don’t get enough fiber. The standard American diet is high in sugars and refined carbohydrates, which are terrible for your dental health.
Foods you should eat for healthier teeth
If you want to choose foods that will make your teeth healthy, select from the following list:
Good calcium selections
Good choices for your teeth are high in calcium, including:
- Yogurt (especially low-fat varieties)
- Cheeses (especially hard and aged varieties)
- Non-dairy forms of yogurt, like soy and almond
- Low-fat milk
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are a healthy snacking choice. They’re high in protein and calcium. Brazil nuts are an especially good choice because they’re high in phosphorus, which helps build strong teeth. Almonds are also great because they have calcium and protein, while being low in fat. Pumpkin seeds are another good choice.
Including a lot of leafy greens in your diet is also helpful. Foods like spinach, kale, and broccoli contain calcium, B vitamins, and folic acid, vitamins that are essential for keeping your teeth healthy. They’re also low in fat, so you can have as much of them as you want.
Apples, celery, and carrots
Apples, celery, and carrots are commonly thought of as great diet foods. But they offer more than just low calories: they also act as natural toothbrushes. Apples help produce more saliva, which washes food from your teeth. Celery is like nature’s toothbrush, scraping leftover food particles from your teeth. And carrots are a great source of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Don’t forget the importance of beverages
One of the best things you can do for your teeth is to drink the right beverages, and the best one is water. Pure water moistens your mouth and washes away the bacteria from food particles.
Milk is another good choice, because calcium helps make your teeth stronger. If you’re sensitive to dairy, alternative milks are also good, like soy, almond, and cashew milk.
In addition, black and green tea are high in polyphenols, which reduce bacteria and their toxic byproducts from your mouth. Tea is also naturally high in fluoride, which strengthens your teeth.
In addition to eating and drinking the right foods to make your teeth stronger, it’s important to keep up with regular dental checkups. Contact Dr. Thomas Sokoly at Sokoly Dental if you’re due for a cleaning or want to find out more about keeping your teeth healthy.