Good oral health starts with a good routine of brushing and flossing to keep your mouth clean of any remaining food particles to avoid tooth decay. But that same food we clean from our mouths can also help improve our smile through the nutrients it provides. Most of us don’t think about those foods when thinking about oral health. So we’ll give you some tips on the right things to eat.
To start with, the most important thing to think about are the nutrients necessary for good oral health. Those are calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and riboflavin. These are the building blocks our body uses for our teeth and bones. Take these away and the danger of osteoporosis or bone decay starts to creep up on us.
Milk is the number one food you should consume for good oral health. It’s a great source of Vitamin D and calcium and lactose, the sugar in it, is the least damaging to our teeth. Some studies have even found that when eating foods like cookies with milk, the milk actually helps protect our teeth. But too much isn’t always a good thing. It’s always good to brush your teeth at night to cleanse your mouth before going to bed. In fact, putting your infant to bed with a bottle of milk may not be the best thing for them.
Other foods that can help your oral health include crunchy fruits and vegetables that help promote saliva flow in the mouth. The more saliva flow, the more chance for an alkaline environment in the mouth. That alkaline helps counter any acids in the mouth that might start to decay your teeth. But remember to follow up with that nightly brushing of your teeth.
Cheese is another good food to consume. Since it’s made from milk, it contains the same nutrients as milk, such as Vitamin D and calcium. Cheese is also non-acidic so it helps provide a protective barrier around your teeth. Look for cheeses with higher bacterial content such blue cheese, Brie, or Camembert. Remember, the next time you attend a wine and cheese tasting, that cheese helps counter the acid in the wine so you’re creating balance in the mix.
That’s probably the best advice when thinking about foods to eat for good oral health. Strike a balance with your food to make sure you get the right mix of nutrients. Too much of a good thing can be just as bad for you. As always, consult your dentist or a nutritionist to help you find the right mix of foods and beverages.
Here’s to good eating for good oral health.