Foods That Your Teeth Find Tasty
Sound like you?
OK, maybe that’s not you; guess you’re not an elf after all! Still, we all eat lots of sweet stuff and drink one too many sugary sodas. They may satisfy a craving, but they can also lead to toothy troubles such as tooth decay.
The American Dental Association (ADA) wants to help you not totally abuse your teeth. So, they put together this little list of seven foods that your teeth love.
Of course, an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. Maybe the dentist, too (although you could still come see Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress just to chat or show us new pictures of your cat). While fruits such as apples are sweet, they’re also high in fiber and water. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Think of it as a good scrubbing of your teeth and gums.
Everyone knows carrots are good for your vision. But they’re also crunchy, and when you eat a few baby carrots at the end of a meal your saliva production increases. Why is saliva good? Saliva rinses away bacteria and leftover food particles. Plus carrots are high in fiber and a great source of vitamin A. Your eyes will thank you for them, too!
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. The probiotics (good bacteria) in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowds out the bad bacteria. It’s best to have yogurt without added sugar, although most companies, feeling the heat about added sugar, are lowering it in their yogurts.
You wouldn’t think of cheese when you think of the health of your teeth, but you would be mistaken. A study in 2013 published in General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese also increases saliva production, which, as mentioned above, is bueno. Cheese also contains lots of calcium and protein, both of which strengthen tooth enamel.
Leafy greens seemingly are on every healthy diet list, kind of like Brad Pitt on every hunky actor list. While they are full of great minerals and vitamins for your overall health, leafy greens also are good for your teeth. They’re high in calcium for your enamel. They contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including helping pregnant women avoid gum disease.
Celery needs a new P.R. agent, as it has a rep for being bland and stringy. But, like carrots and apples, it’s kind of like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It also has lots of vitamin A and C, which is good for your gums.
Almonds are a great source for calcium and protein and have little sugar. Plus, they’re great at filling you up. Add a quarter cup to lunch and throw some on your salad at dinner. And their crunchiness has value, as detailed above.
Eat more of this stuff, and you can have the occasional Ho Ho with a Dr. Pepper chaser. And then, be sure to schedule your regular twice-yearly cleanings and exams with your friends at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004.