We all know that some foods are bad for our teeth: soda, candy, and ice, for example. While avoiding these foods is critical to dental health, it’s also wise to get acquainted with the foods that are good for your teeth, and eat more of those. Fortunately, there are dozens of tooth-healthy food options out there. You just have to know which ones to choose.
In this post, we’ll cover a few of our favorite tooth-boosting snacks and meals. Let’s dive in.
6 Foods That Strengthen Your Teeth
You are what you eat. That’s as true for your teeth as it is anything else. To boost the health and wellbeing of your teeth, incorporate these delicious, flavorful foods into your diet more regularly:
Cheese lovers, rejoice! It’s one of the top foods dentists recommend eating for good dental health.
According to a study published in a 2013 issue of General Dentistry, eating cheese boosts the pH of your mouth, thus lowering the risk of dental decay. Additionally, chewing cheese increases saliva production, thereby coating and protecting teeth and restoring balance to the dental environment. Finally, cheese contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
With that in mind, grab a slice of cheddar next time you need a tasty, mouth-healthy snack.
Crunchy, nutritious, and delicious – oh my! Carrots are a great snack as far as your oral health is concerned. Chock-full of fiber and vitamin A, carrots increase your mouth’s natural saliva levels, thus reducing your risk of cavities. Additionally, the texture and crunch of carrots can give teeth a light cleaning, serving to wipe away bacteria and plaque buildup.
Almonds are a heart-healthy snack, but they’re also great for your teeth. A great source of protein and enamel-boosting calcium, almonds are low in sugar and nutritious to boot. Add a few sliced almonds to a stir-fry or salad, or eat a handful of raw, unsalted almonds next time you need a mid-afternoon blood sugar boost.
Yogurt, like cheese, is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Because of this, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants a stronger, healthier, cleaner teeth. Additionally, yogurt contains naturally-occurring probiotics, which balance the bacteria levels in the mouth, banish cavity-causing bacteria, and restore healthy oral pH. If you decide to eat more yogurt, be sure you’re opting for protein-dense Greek yogurt varieties with no added sugar.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are great for everything from your heart to your digestive system. So is it any surprise that they’re excellent for your teeth, as well? Packed with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, while also being low in calories, leafy greens contain calcium to build tooth enamel, folic acid, and B vitamins that can reduce your risk of dental disease and bacteria buildup. If you have trouble getting enough leafy greens in your diet, consider adding a handful to a stir-fry, smoothie, or your lunchtime sandwich.
Celery might taste a little less exciting than yogurt or cheese, but it’s great for your chompers. Like carrots, apples, and other crunchy fruits and veggies, it acts as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing the teeth and removing bacteria and plaque buildup. Celery is also a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as fiber. Top your celery with cream cheese or almond butter for an extra nutrient-dense snack.
Eating for Your Dental Health
Just like you can eat to lower your blood pressure, decrease blood sugar spikes, or build muscle, you can eat to promote strong, healthy teeth. Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association to do just that:
- “Drink plenty of water
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas, and other legumes
- low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
- Limit the number of snacks you eat.
- If you do snack, choose something healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.”
In addition to following the tips above, it’s also essential to keep your dental habits up to snuff. This means brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. To keep teeth healthy and prevent plaque buildup, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly – at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have particular dental concerns.
Finally, keep your teeth healthy by being mindful of what you eat. Foods with high sugar content contribute to dental decay and other dental conditions. To limit your sugar intake, start reading the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on the foods you consume. Be mindful of sneaky sources of sugar – like beverages, fruit juices, and whole fruits. Stay away from distinct sources of processed sugar, like candy and soft drinks.
If you do have a sweet snack, be sure to flush your mouth with water immediately afterward, and to brush your teeth as quickly as possible. This will limit the amount of time the sugar has to impact your teeth and wash away any residue that could contribute to dental decay. Even if you brush your teeth immediately afterward, avoiding sugar is still the best bet to keep your mouth healthy.
Building Strong Teeth Doesn’t Have to be Hard
If you want to boost your oral health and experience less frequent trips to the dentist, start by evaluating your diet. Even a few simple changes can go a long way toward improving your dental health and creating better outcomes for your teeth. Your dentist and your mouth will thank you.
Concerned about your dental health? Overdue for your check-up? Give our team a call today to book your annual cleaning!
Good habits start young, and it is a lot easier to establish good habits when your children are younger than they can carry into their adult lives. Oral care just like other good health habits can be difficult to get your children on board, thankfully there are some great tips and tricks to help your child develop good, healthy habits.
You can establish good, healthy habits in your children, start young and keep a routine so they get used to it. Your children will thank you when they are older for their good habits and fewer trips to the dentist to repair the damage.
Today, dental decay affects more than 90% of the U.S. population. Gum disease, meanwhile, affects about 50% of people over the age of 30, and 40% of kids under the age of 19 are suffering from tooth decay, as well.
As you can see from these statistics, dental decay is an alarming problem in the U.S., and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. The biggest culprit leading to these issues is poor oral hygiene. Just behind that, though, is the lack of a balanced, healthy diet.
They say you are what you eat, and that’s as true for your teeth as it is everything else. Depending on what you eat or drink, you can enhance or harm the health of your pearly whites. Eat and drink the right things, and you’ll boost the health of your mouth. Eating and drinking the wrong things, though, or not getting enough of what your mouth needs and your teeth will suffer.
Is Your Mouth Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals?
Proper nutrition benefits your entire body – not just your teeth and gums. When you ingest ample vitamins and minerals, though, you do your mouth a significant favor and help set it up for success. In addition to supporting the healthy function of your mouth, you also give it the tool and material it needs to fight off dental decay and other troubling conditions. With that in mind, here are a few vitamins and minerals to focus on, specifically:
Most of us know that calcium is good for our bones, but its benefits go much deeper than that. Calcium is a critical building block for the teeth. In addition to helping maintain healthy teeth, calcium strengthens the structure of the teeth, improving enamel and making teeth stronger and harder to break.
Looking for good sources of calcium? Add dairy products to your diet. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are all tooth-healthy snacks that pack a serious calcium punch. If you’re on a vegan diet, look instead to fortified cereals and leafy green veggies.
Phosphorous is a critical vitamin for anyone who wants healthy teeth. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, phosphorus is one of the most common minerals in the body, behind only calcium. As it turns out, most of the phosphorus in your body lives in your teeth. Because of that, incorporating enough phosphorus into your daily diet is a critical way to care for your teeth and keep your mouth healthy.
Phosphorus is found in many foods that are also a good source of protein, including nuts, eggs, legumes, dairy, and more. You can also find ample phosphorus in whole grains and dried fruit. If you’re still concerned you’re not getting enough phosphorus, talk to your doctor about supplementing.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for dozens of body systems. In addition to playing a significant role in keeping your teeth healthy, it’s also a crucial factor in how your body absorbs calcium. Without enough vitamin D, your body actually starts to pull calcium reserves from your bones and teeth, which contributes to weak systems and an increased risk of fractures and cracks.
To add extra Vitamin D to your diet, look to milk, dairy products, and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin D is also easy to supplement, and you can talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
4. Vitamin C
Some vitamins support your teeth, and others support everything around them. That’s where Vitamin C comes in. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin C supports your body as it creates blood vessels that feed your teeth. Additionally, your body needs the nutrient to promote healing and support immune function. People who have a vitamin C deficiency often experience increased rates of dental infections and bleeding gums.
5. Vitamin A
According to the NIH, Vitamin A is good for your teeth and your whole body. In addition to supporting healthy vision, Vitamin A supports healthy tissue and mucous membrane production. Meat, eggs, dairy, and poultry are excellent sources of Vitamin A, although you can also supplement if you’re not getting enough from your diet. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be the case.
Eating for Strong Teeth and Gums: 3 Critical Snacks
If you want to keep your mouth healthy and happy, the best thing you can do is focus on your diet. Here are a few simple tips for doing just that:
1. Look for Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is critical for your teeth, and it’ll go a long way to boost the strength of your enamel and teeth themselves. With this in mind, look for foods like milk, Greek yogurt, cheese, tofu, salmon, dark green leafy veggies, and almonds. These are all great sources of calcium and will help you take care of your teeth.
2. Eat Eggs
Your teeth need phosphorus, and eggs are a great source of that. If you’re not a big fan of eggs, you can choose fish, lean meat, nuts, beans, and dairy to boost dental health and contribute to good overall nutrition.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a super-nutrient. It boosts your immune system, promotes gum health, and battles dangerous bacteria in your mouth. With this in mind, eat lots of citrus, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. You can also supplement with Vitamin C if you don’t believe you’re getting enough.
Eat for Your Dental Health
Vitamins and minerals are critical to your overall health and your dental health. If you’re interested in eating for better dental health, this post offers some smart places to start. Not only does getting ample vitamins and minerals ensure strong teeth and healthy gums, but it’ll also boost your immune system, support healthy body function, and keep your skin beautiful and luminous.
Want to learn more about eating for your dental health? Contact our office to schedule a visit, check-up, or cleaning today!
Getting braces can feel like a rite of passage for many kids, in the United States alone, 3.5 million children will get braces this year. Many of us will at some time in our life wear braces to fix a variety of dental issues, from crooked teeth to bite issues to spacing issues. If your dentist has recommended your child needs braces there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare for their braces.
If your child is getting ready for braces make sure they know and are ready for the commitment of having braces. Talk to your child’s orthodontist and dentist to make sure everyone is comfortable with the treatment plan, as long as everyone is ready braces should be a piece of cake!
As a parent, your child’s well being is one of your top concerns. Of course, it is! You want your little one to grow up strong, healthy, and happy. One of the best ways to do that is to take care of their teeth. When you give your little one the care, attention, and skills needed for their teeth to develop correctly, you set them up for straight teeth and a healthy mouth well into their lives.
Like you, we care about setting your little one’s mouth up for success. Here are a few of our top recommendations for doing just that:
How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Healthy teeth are one of the essential pieces of your child’s overall health. In addition to cutting down on the risk of chronic diseases and bacterial infections, a healthy mouth inspires confidence and promotes normal development. Here are a few ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy from the get-go:
- Avoid leaving bottles in a baby’s crib, and given children fruit juices and sweet drinks sparingly
- Before your baby’s teeth erupt, rub the gums with your finger or a wet cloth after the baby eats or drinks. This will keep the gums clean and keep oral bacteria to a minimum.
- Take your baby to a pediatric dentist by this first birthday, or as soon as they cut their first tooth
- As soon as your little one’s first tooth erupts, start brushing the tooth and teaching the child healthy brushing habits
- Demonstrate healthy oral habits and routines in your daily life – lead by example as parents
- Limit sweet food, sticky food, and food that’s high in sugar. Offer healthy food options for your child and limit unhealthy choices
- Give your child plenty of books and education to help them learn about good oral health
Behaviors to Avoid for a Healthy Mouth
Knowledge and great habits are essential for good dental health. While other things, like genetics, also play a role, one of the biggest definers of your child’s dental health is behavior. Specific behavioral considerations can damage dental health and put your child at risk of future dental issues. With that in mind, be aware of the following behaviors in your child:
Pacifiers are often considered a lifesaver by parents. Used to calm a fussy baby, soothe a child who wants to suckle, or put a little one to sleep, pacifiers are a popular accessory for young kids. Despite that, however, the use of pacifiers is much-debated in the parenting world.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pacifier use is fine for kids, as long as it’s implemented correctly. When used excessively or for too long, pacifiers can damage a child’s dental development. If a child is still using a pacifier as his or her teeth begin to break through the surface, for example, the pacifier and the pressure of the suckling motion can press teeth out of position and cause a misalignment in the mouth.
Thumb sucking, pacifier sucking, can develop into a damaging habit if it goes on too long. While kids typically chew and suck on their fingers as they are teething, children who continue thumb-sucking behavior for too long risk misaligning their teeth and becoming dependent on the action.
Because of this, dentists recommend discontinuing thumb sucking by the time the child reaches the age of two. If the behavior persists past this point, teeth may come in crooked, or they may protrude from the front of the mouth.
Dental Problems Kids May Face
With or without potentially-damaging behavior, kids may face the following dental issues:
- Overcrowding. This is a common issue in both kids and adults alike. If your child has a small jaw, there might not be enough space for your baby’s adult teeth to come through. This can cause other teeth to move or shift to make room for adult teeth. Poor hygiene from overcrowding is another issue. Overcrowding can make it challenging to maintain a healthy mouth since it’s hard to clean all teeth adequately when they’re too close together.
- Dental Misalignment. Things like crossbites and overbites can cause teeth to come in crooked, leading to bite issues down the road.
- Airway Restriction. In some extreme cases, kids can even experience airway and breathing issues thanks to dental problems. Mouth breathing, for example, can be caused by jaws that are too narrow or deep.
- Crooked Teeth. Crooked teeth can lead to bite issues and confidence issues for kids. Adolescence is already hard enough for little ones, without struggling with these things.
How to Set Your Child up for Dental Success
The best thing you can do to ensure your children’s teeth develop correctly is to be attentive. The more attention you pay to your child’s dental development, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to spot potential dental issues and stop them before they become significant issues.
By brushing your child’s teeth, setting a good dental hygiene example, and taking your child to the dentist regularly, you can avoid most common dental issues. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, you should take your child for his or her first orthodontic check-up before he or she reaches the age of seven.
If you don’t have a family orthodontist, as your dentist for a recommendation. They likely have a professional in town they enjoy working with. The orthodontist will be able to evaluate your child’s jaw and tooth development and decide whether or not any intervention is required.
This orthodontic care, when combined with your child’s traditional dental care, will go a long way toward setting your child up for dental success and ensuring a lifetime of healthy teeth and mouths. Additionally, getting your child into the dentist early helps prevent dental phobias and ensure that your child will continue taking care of his or her teeth, long after you stop being in charge of it.
Ready to learn more or book your child’s first appointment? Contact our team today.