Part of being a dentist is to gently remind our patients about foods that are bad for their teeth. But at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we would like to offer some good news! Since eating well is a highway to health, here are five foods that are good for teeth, gums and jaw. While these will never replace regular checkups and cleanings, they will fight to neutralize bacterial buildup in your system to improve your overall oral health.
Black and green teas have compounds called polyphenols that have been proven to slow bacterial growth in the mouth. When research subjects used black tea to rinse their mouths, they had less plaque buildup than control subjects who only used water. The tea undermined the ability of bacteria to bond together. A side benefit is that the tea also suppressed the bacteria that causes halitosis.
Another study found that teenagers who consumed cheddar cheese had lower acidity in their mouths than those who ate other dairy products. Researchers concluded that the pH of the cheese may neutralize plaque acid. In addition to cheese providing calcium,the process of chewing also increases saliva, so it is likely that some of the bacteria is washed away.
Foods that require a lot of chewing are also good for oral health. Apples, cucumbers, and carrots are great for breaking down plaque and cleaning the surface of your teeth. Combined with saliva, these foods tend to clear away bacteria that may otherwise remain in your mouth. The next time you need a snack, reach for an apple or a carrot.
A recent blog post of ours featured the dental benefits of xylitol. Chewing gum that contains xylitol is much healthier than sugar-based gum or chewing gum with aspartame. Raisins are another sweet chewy food that is sucrose-free. It is sucrose that aids in plaque formation. Raisins also contain phytochemicals which fight plaque bacteria.
Foods high in calcium and phosphorous
We mentioned that cheese is high in calcium, but almonds and leafy greens also contain significant amounts of this essential mineral. Calcium is great for strengthening bones like your jaw. Like phosphorous, calcium redistributes minerals into the tiny lesions in your tooth enamel caused by acidic foods. Phosphorous is found in abundance in meat, fish and poultry, including eggs.
These five foods that are good for teeth are nature’s way of helping us maintain good oral hygiene. Combined with a daily program of regular brushing and flossing, eating well is a highway to health. And remember, Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert AZ is here for all of your dental needs. Call us today to schedule a checkup or cleaning. See you soon!