We often hear about the importance of fruits, vegetables and dairy to your overall health. But did you know that these categories of food can also have a dramatically beneficial effect on your oral health?
Vitamin C – found in kiwi, bell peppers, oranges and apples – is necessary to prevent the breakdown of collagen in your gums, which can make them more susceptible to causes of periodontal disease.
Chewing on apples (or carrot sticks) after meals helps produce saliva, a natural bacteria neutralizer. They also massage the gums and can dislodge food stuck between the teeth.
Carrots, pumpkin, broccoli and sweet potatoes are all high in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin in the formation of tooth enamel and helps to promote the healing of gum tissue.
Leafy greens are a nutritional gold mine. Not only do they contain calcium, vitamins and minerals, but they also contain folic acid, which can aid in the treatment of gum disease in pregnant women.
Cheese and milk – two dairy all-stars – can help to neutralize bacterial acid in the mouth, which helps to preserve the enamel on the teeth. They’re also high in phosphate and calcium, two very important minerals to oral health.
Along with calcium and phosphate, yogurt offers the benefit of probiotic bacteria that crowd out the bad bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay. Can’t eat dairy? No problem; dairy-free yogurts usually contain calcium and probiotics as well.