Top Foods For Healthy Teeth & Gums
Oh Hi there! I am sure many of you know that I am a soon to be dentist. And by soon I mean in a little less than 3 years. I’m sure these next three years will fly by! In the mean time, I wanted to share with you all some of the healthiest foods for healthy teeth and gums. As a plant-based vegan, I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. During my time in dental school I have learned which foods are healthiest for your teeth as well as how to combat some of the acidity from some fruit.
I am no expert (yet), but have a decent amount of knowledge in this subject area. If you are looking to improve your oral hygiene and overall health, then these are the foods to be including in your diet.
Great examples of foods that are rich in calcium include leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and spinach. Leafy greens that are loaded with calcium help to build a strong tooth enamel. Leafy greens are also high in folic acid which has been linked to a reduction in periodontal disease in pregnant women. Try my Cauliflower Chickpea Curry Rice & Kale Recipe for a veggie boost!
2. Raw Fruit
Not only is raw fruit great for complexion, digestive health, and energy levels, but they are also great for oral health. Many people think that fruit is “bad” for your teeth because of the “sugar” but that is far from the truth. Fresh fruit is loaded with water and fiber which helps to stimulate the gums upon chewing. Crunchy fruits like apples, and pears help to produce more saliva in the mouth which has a washing effect on the teeth. Ditch the sugar laden fruit juice and dried fruits packed with sugar for optimal oral health. Dried fruit without any added sugar is great, but be sure to brush (or at least slosh rinse with water) after eating!
3. Raw Veggies- Especially Celery, Cucumbers, and Carrots
Celery and Cucumbers, similar to apples, are very water rich and filled with fiber. They also stimulate the gums due to the crunchy nature of the veggies and also help in “scraping” bacteria and food particles away from the teeth. Carrots are another extra crunchy veggie. It is no secret that chewing produces saliva. Carrots are high in vitamin A and fiber and have been shown to help reduce cavities. I love eating raw carrots with mashed avocado/ hummus! It is a delicious and healthy snack that stimulates the gums!
Nuts are a delicious source of healthy fats for any diet- especially when you get the raw, unsalted types that have only 1 ingredient- the nut itself! Be sure to steer away from any nuts that are cooked/roasted in oil. Almonds are a nutrient powerhouse and have been shown to whittle your waistline as well as reduce caries rates.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Spices
Ginger and garlic are two spices that have been shown over and over again to have numerous health benefits. Garlic contains allicin which has strong antimicrobial properties. It has been indicated in helping to reduce periodontal disease and support healthy gums and teeth. Ginger helps to freshen breath and fight against bacteria as well. Add some minced garlic to your meals, roasted garlic to salads, and ginger to your water/tea for a healthy boost!
Since I just gave you a bunch of foods that are healthy for you teeth, here is a short list of foods that are detrimental to your oral health.
Candy, Baked Goods (cookies, cakes, muffins, pie, etc), soda, juice, Sugar-laden coffee, flavored yogurt, ice cream, sweetened tea, crackers, white bread, processed grains, white pasta, processed snacks (chips, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc), dried fruit coated in sugar- just to name a few.
What do you do to ensure you keep your teeth and gums healthy?
Do you floss and brush after eating?? (plzz say yes!)
Did any of these foods surprise you??
Let me know in the comments!