What to Eat for Strong Teeth and Gums
The foods we eat have a lot to do with the health of our teeth and gums. This means that proper dental care takes more than brushing and flossing. What we need is a well-balanced diet. But, What to eat for strong teeth and gums?
It’s common to take dental care for granted. When we think we can eat anything just because we can simply floss and brush our teeth after a meal is faulty thinking.
If we want to keep our teeth and gums healthy, wouldn’t it be better to start looking at what makes tooth decay and gum disease happen in the first place?
Yes, we can brush, and floss, or use some fluoride mouth-rinse, but these habits only constitute half of what’s needed to keep a proper oral hygiene. The other half pertains to how we eat healthy food.
There are two ways how bad foods impact our dental health. The first one is when the food comes into contact with our teeth and gums. Eating sugary food is a good example. When unattended, they can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
The second one is how these foods lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that are essential in keeping our teeth strong and our gums healthy. Junk foods easily come to mind.
Food Nutrients that Keep Our Teeth and Gums Healthy and Strong
So, back to the question “What to Eat for Strong Teeth and Gums”. There are several types of nutrients that we get from food that are helpful in oral care.
Calcium is a known mineral that helps keep our teeth strong. In fact, our teeth and jaw bones are mostly made up of calcium. But calcium cannot work on its own, it works with phosphorus to ensure the strength of our teeth.
In particular, phosphorous helps in rebuilding our tooth enamel. Which means we need a right amount of protein foods like milk, because they are a rich source of phosphorous.
There are several vitamins that are also important for the health of our teeth. The Vitamin D, for example, helps our teeth absorb calcium. And then there’s Zinc, which helps control any plaque buildup in our teeth.
For our gums, the Vitamins A, B, C, E, anti-oxidants, Folate, Iron, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are also important. They prevent gum disease, keep our gum tissues resistant to infection, and help them heal faster when inflamed.
To summarize, here’s how each of these vitamins and minerals contributes to our dental health.
Calcium. Helps keep our teeth strong.
Phosphorus. Supports calcium in strengthening our teeth; rebuilds our tooth enamel.
Protein. A rich source of phosphorus that is important for enamel regeneration.
Vitamin D. Helps our teeth absorb calcium.
Vitamins A, B, C, E, and other anti-oxidants. Keep our gum tissues protected from inflammation and infection.
Zinc. Prevents and controls plaque build-up.
Folate. Helps in repairing the cells in our gums.
Iron. Prevents gum infection and disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Prevent gum disease.
Foods That are Best for Our Teeth and Gums
The foods that we eat affect the health of our teeth and gums in the same way that they affect the rest of our body.
A good, healthy diet leads to excellent dental health. With that said, here are some of the best foods that can help us keep our teeth strong and our gums healthy.
Almonds are rich in calcium and protein which help in keeping our teeth stronger. This nut is fibrous, too, so when we chew it, we also remove some plaque from our teeth. Almonds also contain other tooth-building and gum-friendly vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese. As hard nuts, almonds are tough to bite, so it pays to be careful when biting and chewing to avoid damaging the teeth.
Spinach is super-packed with calcium and an assortment of vitamins and minerals that include Vitamin B, beta-carotene, and folic acid. These nutrients are best for developing a strong tooth enamel. They are also great in fighting cavities and preventing gum disease.
Garlic is a wonder-food when it comes to oral health. A simple search on home remedies for a toothache would show garlic as one of the best cures. The reason points to garlic’s antibacterial properties. With our mouth a natural habitat of different kinds of bad bacteria, it’s just a matter of time before they creep into our teeth and infect our gum tissues. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin that fights the bad bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Saying cheese to smile wouldn’t be so bad if we have a good set of teeth, wouldn’t it? Well, it turns out that cheese has a lot more to do with our teeth. Like most dairy products, cheese is rich in calcium and other nutrients that fight cavities and prevent tooth erosion.
Like most vegetables, broccoli is a nutrient-dense food that has an amazing oral health benefits. It contains calcium, folic acid, vitamin C, and iron that help strengthen our teeth and keep our gums healthy. The iron specifically helps in the formation of our tooth enamel coating. Broccoli can also whiten our teeth, so that’s probably another good reason to welcome this veggie on our diet.
Good Diet Means Good Oral Health
There are many other foods that are good for our dental health. These include milk, yogurt, salmon, tea, apple, orange, cucumber, carrot, celery, ginger, onion, tuna, and many others. Basically, eating foods that are rich in calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein, vitamins, and some antioxidants are always best for our teeth and gums.
But, of course, if there are good foods for our teeth and gums, there are bad ones, too. These include the sugary foods like candies, carbonated drinks like sodas, starchy foods like chips, acidic foods, and many others. We’re not saying that we need to avoid these foods, but eating them in moderation would come a long way in keeping our teeth and gums healthy and strong.
If you find it hard to keep track, just remember that if it’s good for your body, its most likely good for your teeth and when all else fails remember something you were told when you were a kid: veggies good, candy bad. This simple little reminder will make it easy to learn What to Eat for Strong Teeth and Gums.