5 Foods That Help with Oral HygieneMar 20, 2021 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
On March 20th, the world comes together to help bring awareness to the importance of oral health and preventing oral diseases, which affect individuals, health systems, and economies everywhere. World Oral Health Day is all about empowering people with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to secure good oral health. The theme for the next three years is to be proud of your mouth by valuing it and taking care of it.
Good oral health can help you live a longer, healthier life. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), healthy eating patterns and food choices can help prevent tooth decay. Learn what foods are right for your teeth and what good habits can help your oral health.
Grapefruit and oranges
While acidic foods can harm teeth, foods such as grapefruit and oranges can benefit oral health. Both grapefruit and oranges contain high levels of vitamin C, which strengthens the blood vessels and connective tissues within the mouth. It also slows the progression of gum inflammation that could otherwise lead to gum disease.
Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout, are an important part of good oral health as they are high in vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for almost every system in the body and helps reduce tooth decay. Vitamin D works synergistically with vitamins A and K2 to deliver calcium to the teeth, strengthening enamel from the inside out. Fatty fish are also high in Omega-3, which supports gum health and may help prevent and reduce symptoms of gum disease.
Cheese, milk, and yogurt are some of the best foods to eat for your dental health. Dairy products stimulate your body’s saliva product, which helps to wash away any bacteria in your mouth. Grass-fed dairy products, such as cheese and butter, are high in vitamin K2, a nutrient that is vital for healthy teeth. Cheese is high in calcium, which is important for maintaining bone density. Cheese is also high in phosphate content that helps balance pH levels in the mouth, which helps to preserve tooth enamel.
Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, chard, or collard greens are full of vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens also contain folic acid, which can potentially help treat gum disease. They also contain calcium which helps build your teeth’s enamel. Enamel helps protect and strengthen your teeth. The folic acids in leafy greens may be particularly beneficial for pregnant women, as they can treat periodontal disease.
Cranberries and nuts
Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth. They are packed with tons of important elements such as calcium and phosphorus. Almonds and peanuts are great for oral health because they are a good source of calcium and protein while also being low in sugar. Cashews help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay, and walnuts contain everything from fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium, and zinc. Cranberries are filled with nutrients and minerals, and are rich in antioxidants that reduce bacteria growth on your teeth and gums. This prevents the development of cavities and gum disease.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.