Did you know that your diet plays a major role in promoting or demoting your dental hygiene and health? In other words, when you eat, you're not only feeding your body but also the good and bad bacteria that thrive in your mouth.
To feed the good bacteria that contribute to your oral health and ensure you have healthy teeth and gums, you must eat Superfoods.
Superfoods: The Right Foods for Sustained Oral Health
Before we delve into the details, let's put the spotlight on our topic of discussion. What are Superfoods? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Superfoods as "foods rich in compounds such as fibre, fatty acids, or antioxidants that are considered beneficial for health."
Basically, Superfoods are packed with nutrients and have little or no harmful factors like saturated fats, trans fats, or added sugars. So, when you start picking out foods that fit these criteria, you will end up with a list of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and dairy products.
How Do Superfoods Contribute to Dental Health?
Firstly, superfoods are not only good for dental health but also for your overall body health because most superfoods are in their natural state. Therefore, in reality, superfoods are wholesome, natural, healthy foods completely free of additives and chemicals. Superfoods are powerful enough to prevent cancer by binding the free radicals within your body.
As far as oral health is concerned, superfoods provide nothing but goodness. For centuries, it has been proven that wholesome foods contribute vital ingredients that play an indispensable role in keeping teeth strong and healthy. Superfoods provide micro and macro nutrients like:
- Vitamin C for gum health.
- Calcium for robust jaws and teeth.
- Phosphorus (which acts with Calcium) makes teeth stronger and more durable.
- Vitamin D regulates Calcium and Phosphorus intake and reduces inflammation caused by periodontal diseases.
In a nutshell, if you want a set of stronger, shinier, and healthier teeth, you must eat Superfoods. That said, you must keep in mind that dental care is irreplaceable. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are mandatory, and no food can ever replace this care.
Let's now explore the top ten Superfoods that immensely benefit your oral health.
10 Superfoods You Must Include in Your Diet For Good Oral Health
Surprised that water is right on top of the list? You may ask, "Why water?" We say, "Why not?" Of course, technically, water is not a food, but it is a super drink. It keeps your oral cavity hydrated and flushes all the food residues from your mouth into your food pipe. If not for every sip of water you take between meals, the residual food could contribute to bad breath, cavities, and tooth erosion. Water also creates an ambient environment inside your mouth for saliva production, which is essential to kick-start digestion.
2. Leafy vegetables
All leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce, are super-rich in Folic acid, a type of Vitamin B that helps fight gum diseases. Topping the list of leafy veges is Kale, which is packed with every conceivable nutrient required for dental health, such as:
- Vitamins A and K
- Vitamin C
Including leafy greens in your daily diet cleans your oral cavity and generates more saliva for digestion and hydration. These vegetables are fibre-rich, low in calories, and can be added to salads, soups, and smoothies.
3. Root vegetables
When we mention 'root vegetables," we specifically mean crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery, which are excellent sources of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
Carrots are also believed to fight cavities. Dental experts recommend having a couple of carrots or a stick of celery every day because they:
- Are low in fat but rich in nutrients.
- Help remove plaque build-up on teeth.
- Stimulate saliva production to neutralise bacteria.
- Remove stains from teeth.
Almonds and other nuts like cashews, pistachios, and walnuts are like little nuggets loaded with micronutrients like:
- Vitamin E
Almonds, in particular, contain Arginine, an amino acid that helps reduce the risk of cavities. While dieticians recommend nuts as low-calorie snacks, dentists recommend them for increased saliva production, a stronger jawline, and for better prevention of gum diseases.
Dental experts recommend apples over other fruits for several reasons, because they:
- Are high in fibre and water.
- Hard enough to stimulate saliva production to rinse away food particles and bacteria.
- Solid enough to massage and stimulate the gums.
- Contain natural sugars to neutralise harmful acids in the mouth.
Having an apple a day is not the same as using toothpaste that contains fluoride, but it can tide you over until you get the chance to brush properly.
There is plenty of fish in the sea, but what's good for your teeth are salmon, trout, tuna, and pretty much any fish that's rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin D. Salmon, particularly, is a Godsend. This fish is rich in phosphorus, which protects the soft dentin and pulp inside the tooth. It is also abundant in Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce gum inflammation and quicken the healing process.
Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery
7. Strawberries and Cranberries
Do you avoid strawberries because of their seeds that get stuck in between your teeth? On the contrary, these yummy fruits help keep your teeth stain-free and serve as a natural enamel whitener because they are loaded with malic acid. Fresh cranberries also prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and prevents formation of plaque.
Tip: Always floss to remove strawberry seeds stuck between your teeth.
8. Green tea
Are you drinking green tea for weight loss or detoxification? Well, this amazing nutrient-rich drink with Polyphenols and Catechin plays a big role in curbing the risk of periodontal diseases. Green tea also serves as an extra source of Flouride and helps prevent bad breath.
Despite their tiny size, legumes are the real nutritional powerhouses. Chickpeas, black urad dhal, black channa, etc. are super-rich in:
- Folic acid, promotes healthy gums
- Magnesium, strengthens the enamel
- Zinc and Iron, strengthens the bone that supports the teeth
10. Dairy products
Last but not least, let's talk about dairy products like milk and cheese. Of course, we know that these dairy products are the best sources of Calcium. But did you know that milk and cheese also contain Casein, a protein which repairs and builds enamel? Milk also contains phosphorus, another enamel-protecting nutrient, while cheese contains phosphate, which helps balance the PH level in your mouth.
Eat Healthy, Smile Healthy!
The Superfoods listed in our blog are easy to procure, cook, and eat. Some of them, like fruits and root vegetables, can be washed and eaten raw. Remember to include at least two or three Superfoods in your daily diet.
You should also remember that oral health does not come from only eating Superfoods. Good oral habits like brushing, flossing, etc., are also important to your oral health.
You should also visit your dentists at least once or twice a year to rule out any dental problems. Book your dental appointment with 4 Squares Dentistry, Chennai, and get your oral health checked by the best dentist in Gowrivakkam.