A Diet for Healthy Teeth
18 March 2022
You are what you eat and this notion is especially true when it comes to your dental health. Making the right food choices, such as to consume food that have the right nutrition content can naturally help you to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
In conjunction with World Oral Health Day, which is celebrated on the 20th of March, we hope to encourage you to make wise choices that will help you improve your oral health. To help you get started, here is one universal way to keep your teeth healthy – through your diet.
We’ve compiled a list of teeth-loving food that can be enjoyed by the young and old. The best part is, you can start enjoying these foods immediately as they’re most likely to be found in your fridge or pantry! So, let’s get started:
If the sight of a cheese board gets you excited, here’s some great news. Dairy foods such as cheese are rich in calcium. Calcium helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and therefore, protecting it from erosion and cavities. Secondly, cheese contains casein, a type of protein that also helps to fortify your tooth’s enamel. You might already want to head to the fridge to grab some cheese but before that, here’s one more benefit. Biting into cheese also helps to promote saliva production and cleanse your mouth from bacteria as well as food debris! Now you’ve got an even better reason to enjoy some cheese.
Similar to cheese, yoghurt is another good source of calcium. It’s also packed with good bacteria that are known to help with your gut health and its benefits extent to protecting your teeth and gums from cavities and diseases concurrently. If you do decide to add more yoghurt to your diet, be sure to read the label carefully during your supermarket run.
Flavoured yoghurt has higher sugar content and it could adversely affect your oral health. Ideally, opt for plain yoghurt and if you would like it flavoured, you may top it up with freshly cut fruits of your choice.
Bonus tip: Choose fruits that are crunchy such as pear or apple to go with your plain yoghurt. Crunchy fruits help to improve saliva production in your mouth.
#3 Leafy greens
Leafy greens such as kale, kalian (Chinese broccoli), lettuce and spinach are rich in calcium, folic acid and various vitamins that help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Calcium as mentioned, helps to protect your teeth against erosion and it also contributes to the re-mineralisation of your tooth. Plus, folic acid helps to prevent gum diseases as it plays an important role in preserving your gum tissues.
Munching on crunchy leafy greens also helps with cleaning your teeth!
Can an apple a day keep the dentist away?
Well, not exactly because routine dental checkups are important but snacking on crunchy fruits such as apples can help to clean your teeth and increase your saliva production. Therefore, contributing positively to your dental health.
If you’re hoping to substitute eating apples with drinking apple juice, do note that the effect is not the same. Apple juice is sugar-laden and could contribute to the production of plaque instead. The reason behind why eating apples help with your oral health is the crunchy texture of the fruit.
Besides apples, you can enjoy the same effect with any other crunchy fruit or vegetable such as carrot, celery and pear. However, a word of caution, if you’ve chipped or cracked tooth enamel, it’s best to consult your dentist before enjoying such naturally crunchy goodness.
As you know by now, calcium is a key mineral for your teeth but for your body to absorb calcium well, vitamin D is needed. Therefore, making it an equally important vitamin that helps to protect and keep your teeth strong and healthy. One rich source of vitamin D is salmon. Just 100 grammes of sockeye salmon gives you more than half of an adult’s daily-recommended intake for vitamin D.
Besides calcium, another mineral known as phosphorus is important to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Phosphorus can be commonly found in meat such as chicken and fish.
Nuts in general are packed with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Especially if you’re a lover of nuts, here are some options that you’ll want to add to your grocery list:
– Peanuts: Rich in calcium and vitamin D.
– Almonds: High calcium content.
– Walnuts: Contains fibre, iron, vitamin E and zinc.
– Cashew nuts: Help to stimulate saliva production.
Nuts are great for your teeth but to reduce your risk of chipping or damaging your teeth when eating nuts, it’s best to consume them slowly. You can also enjoy the amazing benefits of nuts in different forms such as to chop them up into smaller pieces or as a spread.
#7 Dark chocolate
If you’ve been indulging in chocolate, especially dark chocolate, you’ll feel less guilty after reading this. Did you know that eating dark chocolate (in moderation) with a higher cocoa content of at least 70% could help to keep your teeth healthy? A compound in chocolate known as Cocoa Bean Husk (CBH), helps to harden your tooth’s enamel and inhibits the production of bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, protecting your teeth from decay.
The benefits of CBH can also be enjoyed when you munch on cacao nibs.
#8 Green & black tea
Green and black teas contain antioxidants known as polyphenols that protect your teeth. Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties, prevents cavities and fights the bacteria in your mouth that causes plaque, a sticky substance formed on your teeth due to a mix of bacteria, starchy and sugary food.
The next time you’re enjoying a cuppa, choose green or black tea and we highly encourage that you have it plain to reap its full benefits.
A daily necessity, water is the healthiest drink with zero calories and sugar. Now, there’s more good news. Water is packed with vitamins and minerals including fluoride. Fluoride is an essential mineral for your dental health. It helps to prevent tooth decay and fortifies your tooth’s enamel too.
In Singapore, our water does contain fluoride and drinking it will not only keep you stay hydrated but it also helps to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Let’s not also forget that when you drink water, the fluid swishes around your mouth and this helps to clean it too. When you have a well-hydrated and clean mouth, this inhibits the build up of plaque and bad breath.
Enjoying these foods and drinks can contribute to healthy teeth and gums. However, they do not replace your regular dental visits. Schedule your appointment if you’re due for your routine dental checkup. This World Oral Health Day, together, let’s take better charge of your dental health!