When it comes to your teeth, you are what you eat. Sugary foods, such as sweets and fizzy drinks, contribute to cavities. If your diet changes for the worse, one of the most noticeable changes will occur first in your mouth. Use this healthy foods list to improve your diet and the health of your mouth.
Carrots are crunchy and full of fibre. Eating a handful of raw carrots with your meal or as a snack in your child's lunchbox increases saliva production in the mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fibre, carrots are a great source of vitamins. Throw a few slices of raw carrot onto a salad, or have them cut into batons for a healthy TV snack with a light homemade herb dip.
Apples might be sweet, but they're also high in fibre and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food debris. The fibrous nature of the fruit stimulates the gums. Eating an apple isn't the same as brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste but it can keep you going until you have a chance to brush. Pack either a whole apple or apple slices in your lunch to give your mouth a good scrubbing at the end of the meal.
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. A great addition to the lunchbox, as an alternative to the poor quality snacks aimed at kids that we usually see.
Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Again, fire a small handful into the lunchbox. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner, adding a crunch to the dish that will help protect strengthen the teeth.
I have news for you.
You now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. A 2013 study found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It's thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen the mineral of the tooth. If you've ever put a really strong flavoured cheese in your mouth and then got that sharp pain in the side of your cheek, that is the saliva gland literally surging with saliva. This is brilliant for the health and protection of the teeth.
Like cheese, yoghurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. Good bacteria found in yoghurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yoghurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar. We don't want to see the shopping trolleys full of Petit Filous!!
Leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They're full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and chard also promote oral health. They're high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel. They also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet, add a handful of baby spinach to your next salad, or blend it into the normal food you are cooking.
In the Rymer house we have a great curry that Sarah makes that requires you throw a few handfuls of Spinach in at the last minute, and it is amazing!!
You can also try adding some greens to a smoothie.