Taking care of your oral health is important. With unhealthy teeth and gums, chewing and speaking can become difficult and painful, and many additional dentist appointments and expenses can also result.
While cleaning your teeth twice a day at home as well as regular professional cleanings and check-ups at your dentist are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, your diet also plays a role.
What we eat everyday can have profound long-term consequences on the condition of our oral health.
To reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease and other potential health issues, here are five foods you should and shouldn’t eat:
Foods to Enjoy
Raw Dairy Products
Raw, unpasteurized milk, cheese and yogurt both contain calcium and protein necessary to strengthen and build up teeth and jawbones. The chewing of cheese produces additional saliva which lowers tooth decay risk. Yogurt has probiotics that is beneficial to your gums.
Raw milk, cream, butter, cheese, and yogurt from cows who are free range and pasture-fed is loaded with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and other important nutrients your body and teeth need. As it isn’t pasteurized, your body has an easier and quicker time absorbing these beneficial nutrients and minerals.
Leafy greens, carrots and celery all do wonders for your oral health. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale have calcium, folic acid and B vitamins that builds up tooth enamel and treats gum disease. Celery has vitamins A and C which are essential for gum health. Celery also works like an additional toothbrush, cleaning the teeth and mouth of food particles.
Bone broth and bone marrow contain vital teeth-building ingredients. Minerals, gelatin, and collagen needed for strong teeth can be found in homemade bone broth.
Bone marrow is packed with bone-building nutrients that rejuvenate bone cells and promote bone cell growth. Bone marrow rebuilds and strengthens your bones, jaws and teeth.
One important animal product that may not sound appetizing to many is liver. This super food contains more fat-soluble vitamins A and D than any other food. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that prevents gum diseases and lowers your risk of tooth decay. Vitamin D is essential in increasing your body’s ability to add calcium and minerals to your bones and teeth.
Coconut oil is one of the world’s richest sources of saturated fat. It is also made of special triglycerides that also contains lauric acid.
When lauric acid is broken down, it creates monolaurin. These two compounds found in coconut oil are fundamental in killing harmful bacteria and viruses in your mouth.
Sprouted Nuts, Seeds and Beans
Consuming nuts, seeds and beans right from the package intact lowers the absorption the important vitamins and minerals they offer the body.
To get the full dental benefits of nuts, beans and seeds, you need to consume them after they have sprouted.
A way of sprouting these foods is through the process of soaking. When nuts, seeds and beans are soaked, teeth-building enzymes, nutrients and minerals are released and can be easily absorbed by the body.
Foods to Avoid
Foods that are processed contain artificial additives that harm your dental health. Refined sugars, processed white flours and vegetable oils that are used to preserve and enhance the flavor of processed foods. These artificial ingredients block the absorption of teeth and gum building nutrients, and causes an increase in bad bacteria in the mouth which leads to cavities.
Packaged, ready to eat foods are often heavily processed. These foods, while convenient and yummy are depleted of their natural enriching minerals and nutrients. Pre-cooked, packaged foods also contain significantly more sugar than natural, raw foods.
Packaged foods have been shown to weaken bone and teeth and those who consume a lot of packaged foods tend to have more cavities than those who don’t.
Plaque is caused by the presence of sugar. When we consume sugar, we are feeding the bad germs and bacteria in our mouths. These germs and bacteria produce corrosive acids that destroy teeth enamel.
To give your teeth the best shot at warding off cavities is to abstain from consuming the fuel for the cavity-producing bacteria in your mouth.
Fruits, while seen as the natural source of sugar, still contain sugar. Whether it is natural or synthetic, sugar increases the presence of enamel destroying bacteria.
If you need some satisfying sweetness in your diet, it is okay to have a small piece of fruit in the morning. Be sure to promptly clean your teeth after eating it.
Unfermented grains are those that are made with artificial leavening agents, like baker’s yeast. Traditional bread production consisted of a time-consuming air fermenting process with wild yeast.
Most grains are unfermented and are packed with refined carbohydrates that quickly and easily get converted into plaque producing sugar. This sugar blocks the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
Unfermented grains are also bad for your teeth because they contain higher levels of phytic acid. This acid keeps the teeth from absorbing essential bone and enamel building nutrients and minerals.
In addition, it is strongly encouraged that you’re also mindful of what you drink. Water is the best thing to drink to boost your oral health.
If you take the health of your teeth seriously, contact Dr. Stacy Godes, DDS today to schedule an appointment.