Did you know that a lot of common foods have features that benefit your teeth? From whitening to cleaning, some foods that may be a part of your daily diet are great for your oral health. Once you know what these foods are and what they do, you can incorporate them into your diet to maximize the advantages to your oral health.
Food is typically thought of in simple terms, like high or low-calorie or healthy or unhealthy. This simplistic view of food means that you may be missing out on hidden benefits for your oral care. From the malic acid in strawberries to the texture of carrots or apples, certain traits inherent in these popular plant-based foods make them beneficial for your teeth, mouth, and gums.
This tropical fruit that is common in fruit salads and Hawaiian pizzas contains the enzyme bromelain. This makes pineapple a natural stain remover and leaves your teeth a bit brighter with each bite.
This American favorite is a staple in pies and is often eaten on its own. The high fiber content is beneficial, but the fact that the chewing action of apples scrubs the teeth and stimulates saliva production makes them excellent for oral health.
Rich in tooth-whitening malic acid, strawberries are a sweet fruit that is surprisingly good for the teeth. They’re also loaded with vitamin C which is needed for growing cells and healing wounds.
One of the most polarizing plant-based foods is the shitake mushroom. If you are a fan of these edible fungi, then you’ll reap the oral benefits due to their high levels of lentinan, a substance that prohibits plaque from forming.
In their raw form, onions provide a host of significant benefits for the mouth and teeth. Their sulfur compounds work to reduce the bacteria in the mouth that causes cavities. If you want to try onions in their much healthier raw form, consider adding them to sandwiches or salads to reap the benefits.
The hard, fibrous texture of carrots and other root vegetables actually scrapes the teeth clean with every bite. Throw in the fact that they’re loaded with water and fiber, and carrots are one of the healthiest snacks you can choose.
Whether you prefer spinach, lettuce, or the recently trendy kale, all leafy green vegetables are known to be excellent for the teeth. In addition to strengthening the enamel, leafy greens are also high in folic acid and calcium, both of which yield phenomenal health benefits.
The polyphenols in cranberries are valuable for keeping plaque from adhering to the surface of your teeth. Try topping your oatmeal, salad, or dessert with some fresh cranberries to take advantage of the dental benefits.
As one of the most nutritious vegetables, broccoli is a popular addition to many foods. The iron content of broccoli is high, and it’s also known for making an acid resistant barrier that protects your enamel.
Each day, the foods we choose to consume have a significant effect on our health, both dental and otherwise. Understanding these differences can help you optimize your oral health, and minimize the trips you need to make to the dentist. These trips are important however, because they’re opportunities to find problems before they can get worse. Visit our San Antonio office and let Dr. Reger assess your symptoms and provide guidance on how to maximize your oral health. Contact us today!