There are a lot of rules about food for maintaining oral health. Most dentists recommend reducing sugar intake and avoiding foods that stick to the teeth, such as taffy, caramels, and similar foods. Most people are also aware that certain beverages can stain teeth, such as red wine and grape juice. However, did you know that there are foods that can aid in maintaining oral health? Eating and drinking these foods can help in a variety of ways to keep your teeth, gums and overall oral health in the best possible condition. Here are eight great foods that help oral health.
1. Black Tea
Simply drinking black tea can help to keep plaque at bay. Black tea contains polyphenols, which naturally impede the growth of the types of oral bacteria associated with cavities. In a study at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers discovered that rinsing with black tea for one minute, ten times a day significantly reduced the amount, size, and stickiness of plaque buildup on teeth.
It turns out that the French may be on to something. In a study with 12-15-year-olds, those who enjoyed cheddar cheese had reduced levels of acid than those who opted for other dairy products like milk or yogurt. It’s thought that cheddar cheese neutralizes plaque acid, which in turn reduces the incidence of oral plaque buildup.
Crunchy foods like raw carrots, celery, and apples help clear away plaque from the surface of the teeth. Also, the crunch action contributes to build and keep bones, much in the same way that regular exercise helps to build strong bones in the body. So crunch away!
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens contain calcium, which is needed to help keep teeth strong and maintain tooth enamel. Although most people think of milk as being the best source of calcium, greens like kale, spinach, and even dandelion greens are excellent sources of calcium.
5. Meat, Eggs, and Fish
Meat, eggs, and fish contain high amounts of phosphorous which, according to the American Dental Association, promote the strength of teeth enamel.
One part of achieving overall oral health is to have fresh breath. Bad breath, or halitosis, is often a sign of bacteria. Chewing on mint leaves like spearmint can help not only to impart a minty fragrance to the breath; but also combat the bacteria in the oral cavity.
There’s a reason why sprigs of parsley appear on the plate. It’s not only there for decorative purposes. Parsley has a unique ingredient called monoterpenes, which enter your bloodstream when you chew it and then are released in your breath when you exhale, making your breath free of odor.
It may seem counterintuitive to think that onions are good for your oral health. After all, having onion breath isn’t considered a good thing. But onions have antibacterial sulfur compounds that kill bad mouth bacteria. So ultimately, the same thing that makes onions smell bad make your oral health better.
When you include one or more of these foods into your diet on a daily basis, you support your oral health.