Food is a big part of our lives. We eat three meals in a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but our eating habits never end there as most people snack between meals. However, the foods we choose and how often we consume them affects our dental health. It is important to learn what foods help keep our teeth and gums healthy. At Riverdale Park Dental, Dr. Tricia Boyce, a dentist in PG County, recommends certain foods for better dental health. Please read on for more information.
Fruits and Vegetables
Go for fruits that are rich in vitamin C like bananas, apples, strawberries, pears, oranges, and kiwis. Vitamin C acts like cement binding our cells together which is essential in maintaining healthy gums. While vegetables like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin, contain vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for tooth enamel formation. The enamel is an outer protective covering of the teeth. Dentists also recommend eating celery for a healthy mouth. Celery increases saliva in the mouth, hence neutralizing cavity-causing bacteria. Another good vegetable is onion. Onion contains antibacterial sulfur compounds that kill different species of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Fiber and Whole Grains
Dried fruits like figs, dates, and raisins contain fiber. Fiber helps in the production of saliva which guards our teeth against tooth decay. Additionally, whole grain foods are a good source of iron, magnesium and vitamin B, which keep our teeth, gums and bones healthy. Examples of whole grain-rich foods are cereals, bran and brown rice.
Calcium-Rich Foods and Nuts
Try to consume dairy products that are rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Calcium is a vital component for building and maintaining strong teeth. Other calcium-rich foods are nuts, almonds, dried beans, and canned fish with bones. Cashews and walnuts are also rich in magnesium and phosphate which are essential nutrients for the teeth.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Water is the best drink for the teeth as it cleanses the mouth. It washes away food particles and keeps the mouth hydrated. Another teeth-friendly drink is green tea. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols that prevent plaque formation, which in return prevents development of tooth cavities and gum diseases. Additionally, green tea contains fluoride that protects the tooth enamel from decay.
Avoid sugary drinks such as juice, soda, lemonade, sweetened tea or coffee. These are harmful because constantly sipping them bathes the teeth with sugar, causing tooth decay.
In addition to healthful eating, dental health problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, flossing daily, drinking fluoridated water. Most importantly, regularly visit a dentist for check-ups. If you are looking for a dentist in PG County, visit us at Riverdale Park Dental. We provide comprehensive dental care for the entire family. Contact us today to learn more about our practice.