Top 10 Best Foods for Your Teeth
Everyone knows candy and soda are terrible for your teeth. But what's actually good for your teeth? Read on to learn the best foods for your teeth.
You are what you eat even applies to teeth. In fact, the teeth are one of the first to go when eating an unhealthy diet.
Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash aren't enough. If you want to take care of them from the inside out, keep reading to learn what the best foods for your teeth are.
Best Foods for Your Teeth
It's common sense that foods with sugar and acids in them break down our teeth. But what foods promote healthy teeth? Let's take a look at the nutrients our teeth need and the foods that contain them.
Our tooth enamel is the front-line defense against decay and cavities. Since tooth enamel is made of minerals, it makes sense that our teeth need minerals to build and repair enamel. One of the best builders is calcium.
Yogurt is a magical food that serves many purposes in our bodies. It is high in the calcium needed to strengthen enamel, but also contains good bacteria - probiotics.
These good bacteria are effective at fighting off the bad bacteria that cause cavities. It's also beneficial for your gut health.
But, don't get the kind with added sugar in it. Can't stand the bitterness of plain yogurt? Choose a plain variety and add low sugar fruits such as blueberries.
Using sweeteners like xylitol, erythritol, or stevia in your yogurt will give you that sweet taste without the harmful effects of sugar. In fact, Xylitol helps sustain neutral pH levels in the mouth and stops bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Cheese is another calcium-rich food. It too helps rebuild enamel and raises the pH level in the mouth. This combats acidic environments where tooth decay thrives.
If you choose hard varieties that take more effort to chew up, such as cheddar, you'll also increase saliva production. Saliva washes bacteria out of the mouth and the more of it, the better.
Like calcium, phosphorous is another mineral found in your bones and teeth. The two work together with vitamin D to build a strong skeleton and enamel. To keep your tooth enamel strong make sure and eat enough foods containing all three.
Phosphorous in animal foods gets absorbed easier than phosphorous in plant-based foods. On average, red meat contains 65 mg per ounce.
One large egg contains 95 mg of phosphorus and its protein to phosphorous ratio is excellent. Since the yolk of an egg contains vitamin D also, eating them is an easy way to get two needed tooth nutrients in one shot.
Foods high in fiber benefit our teeth because of all the chewing required to eat them. This chewing produces saliva, which neutralizes cavity-producing bacteria. Fibrous foods clean our teeth by scrubbing the surfaces while we chew as well.
If you've ever eaten celery, you know how much fiber they have; all those annoying strings of it. Even though it's somewhat challenging to eat, those fiber strings clean your teeth as you chew. Let's call them natural floss.
They also clean out your digestive system as they go through your body. Celery contains the antioxidants needed for gum health too, vitamins C and A.
The flesh of an avocado packs lots of prebiotic fiber. Not only is it great for our guts, but prebiotic fiber works in conjunction with probiotics.
If you remember, earlier we talked about how probiotics fight off the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Make sure and get enough of both in your diet to experience the full benefits.
Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. When vitamin D levels are low calcium cannot make its way into teeth and bones. In fact, a lack of vitamin D contributes to periodontal disease.
We need calcium to build and repair tooth enamel. We need both working together for healthy teeth.
Fatty fish like salmon are great sources of vitamin D. Salmon has about 400 IU of D3 in three and a half ounces. Sardines, canned tuna, and cod liver oil are more types that are also high in D.
The yolk of an egg is where the vitamins, minerals, and fats are. The whites provide protein. You'll get about 37 UI of vitamin D in one egg yolk.
You'll need to eat a few at that rate or eat them while sitting in the sun for a full vitamin D charge.
Although this isn't a food, don't neglect to get outside often if you can. Sunlight is the best and most effective way of getting your daily dose of vitamin D. Our bodies make vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and needed for the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that's used for cell repair in hair, skin, and joints. It's also used to fight periodontal disease, keep gums healthy, and prevent sensitive gums.
Although they contain vitamin C, be careful of citrus foods and their juices since they have high acid levels.
Did you know that red bell peppers have three times the vitamin C of an orange? Healthy gums rely on this important vitamin to keep our teeth in place. Start eating more peppers to support your gums.
Broccoli is another non-fruit food that supplies vitamin C. Steam it rather than boiling it to retain the largest amount of vitamins.
Our diet influences how our teeth grow when we're kids. It also keeps them healthy and strong through our lifetime. Eating from our best foods for your teeth list, getting enough sunshine, and practicing good oral hygiene will ensure pearly whites for a lifetime.
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