Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is always going to be vital for healthy teeth and gums, as are regular dental visits to Leeds City Dentalcare. But your dental health is also influenced by your food choices. So what are the best foods for your teeth and gums?
- High fibre vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits that contain large amounts of fibre have a naturally cleansing effect on your teeth, helping to scrub them a little cleaner. They are also harder to chew, and chewing helps to stimulate the flow of saliva, washing away excess food particles, and reducing the acidity in the mouth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots and apples also have high water content, helping to dilute the natural sugars while still being enjoyable to eat.
- Dairy products that do not have any added sugar are also good for dental health. Cheese can help to stimulate the flow of saliva, while other dairy products such as milk are valuable sources of calcium and phosphates.
- Green and black tea. That morning cuppa contains substances called polyphenols that help to fight bacteria that cause tooth decay, preventing them from multiplying. If you’re a coffee lover, then this tasty drink also contains polyphenols. It has also been shown that cocoa contains substances that can fight these bacteria, just so long as it isn’t sweetened!
- Snacking on nuts is already known to be beneficial to general health, but these crunchy treats also contain minerals and vitamins that are good for your teeth. Peanuts are high in calcium and in vitamin D, while almonds also contain calcium. Walnuts contain thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E potassium, zinc, and vitamin B6. One thing to bear in mind is that your teeth do need to be in good condition to eat nuts, as any decay could lead to the tooth crumbling when it comes into contact with something hard.
- Products containing xylitol, for example chewing gum or sweets, can be beneficial to teeth, as xylitol is a type of natural sweetener that is extracted from plants, and which will work against the bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay.
- Water is essential to all forms of life, and making sure you drink plenty of it will help to keep your mouth clean. Saliva largely consists of water, so it is important to make sure you are always well hydrated.
It is pretty easy to make the right food choices for healthy teeth, as you are looking to include foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in sugars and carbohydrates that could stick to the teeth. Foods that contain vitamins A, C, and D as well as phosphorus and calcium are good, but generally it is all about eating a balanced diet, that includes lean protein, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fortified cereals.
If you do want to eat something naughty, then try to have it as part of a larger meal, and try to clean your teeth soon afterwards. Sticky sweets such as toffees and other foods such as crisps, biscuits and cakes are especially bad for teeth as they are so difficult to remove other than through brushing. Making healthy food choices will help to limit the amount of treatment needed by our dentist in Leeds, and will help ensure you need to spend less time in the dental chair being treated by Dr David Brown. Of course all this will also save money!