Growing up, most of us were taught that sweet, sticky things are not great for our teeth. But were you also taught that there are other foods that are actually awesome for keeping your teeth (and your body) healthy? This kind of education isn’t as widely prevalent in homes and schools, so we compiled a list of five things you should consider working into your family’s diet regularly for strong, healthy teeth.
In general, a good rule of thumb is to eat something from each of the major food groups each day and make sure that your portion sizes are not oversized. This will help your body stay well-balanced, as well as not depriving it of essential nutrients that it needs.
Sweet potatoes are a terrific source of Vitamin A, and that’s great for your teeth, as it helps to build enamel. Enamel is the protective coating on the exterior of your teeth, and it constitutes their first line of defense.
More often than not, a lot of recipes that use sweet potatoes introduce too much sugar to the final dish in the form of marshmallows, honey or brown sugar. Be mindful how your potatoes are prepared so as to not cancel out the benefits of the vegetable itself.
Leafy greens & other veggies
Leafy greens, like kale and spinach, provide a potent amount of nutrients for your gums and teeth, including Vitamins B2, B12, and A. It’s also a good idea to include crunchy fruits and vegetables in your regular diet because they stimulate the production of saliva, which is essential for removing debris from between your teeth. Saliva also dilutes any acids which may be present in your mouth, and which might erode the surfaces of your teeth.
Protein is essential for both your teeth and your body and can be found in eggs, fish, poultry, and lean red meats. It also provides phosphorous needed by your teeth. Phosphorous is very important as a protective agent for tooth enamel, which can guard against the formation of cavities. Other protein-rich foods like nuts offer iron as well as Vitamins B2 and B12, which are very helpful in promoting healthy gums and teeth.
Tea is an especially good beverage for adults to drink because many types of tea contain antioxidants which promote general good health. Many kinds of black and green tea also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which if left unchecked, could lead to the development of tooth decay. Some teas can also be prepared for children, including lemon balm, ginger, and fennel teas. They provide benefits such as protection against infections, remedy for digestive orders, and relief from coughs and colds.
Water is still the healthiest beverage you can drink and one of the best ways to keep your body healthy since it doesn’t contain any added sugars or acids. In fact, it helps rinse away any sugars or acids which may be present in your mouth. Most water sources also include fluoride, which is one of the best-known protections for the teeth because it inhibits the development of tooth decay.
Most doctors recommend that you drink approximately half your body weight in ounces each day in order to get the maximum benefit from water. Doing so can not only help your dental health, but can also aid in digestion, weight management, and healthy skin.