Good oral health habits such as twice-daily brushing and flossing are important to ensure your smile stays bright, healthy and beautiful, but it is also important to understand the powerful cleansing properties of simple, everyday foods.

There are several foods that are amazing building healthier teeth and gums, as well as prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Fruits and Vegetables

The value of fruits and vegetables in the diet cannot be understated. In addition to the nutritional benefits, high-fiber fruits and vegetables can actually scrub the teeth similar to the way your toothbrush might and stimulates saliva production.

Cheese

Cheese is a superfood, combating acid erosion of the teeth. Since breads, sweets, citrus, or soda, exposes your teeth to decay causing acid, pairing these foods during meals with cheese, or eating cheese as a dessert after a meal can counteract the acid.

Vitamin D

If the body does not have enough vitamin D, it cannot absorb the calcium your body needs to protect your teeth and gums from disease. Foods rich in Vitamin D, such as salmon and other fatty fish will ensure the calcium on your diet provides all of the disease-fighting benefits.

Citrus Fruits

Even though the acid in citrus does have a negative effect on the enamel of the teeth, the vitamin C in citrus strengthens the body’s blood vessels and connective tissue and reduces inflammation slowing down the progression of gum disease. As such, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and other citrus are beneficial—as long as you wait a half hour after eating to brush and rinse with water after eating.

Water

Water is vital in the production of saliva—which has a critical role in your oral health. Optimum levels of water in your saliva keep it from thickening and aids in the breakdown of food, neutralizing pH and preventing tooth decay. Also, rinsing with water after staining foods and beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine, will keep teeth whiter.

Tea

Polyphenols, found in green and black tea, interact with the bacteria that cause plaque by killing or suppressing them. Bacteria feed on the sugars in your mouth and, once they’ve had their feast, they excrete tooth enamel destroying acids. Tea, after a meal, suppresses the presence of these acid producing bacteria in the mouth.

If you have questions about what you should (and should not) eat and drink to keep a healthy smile, please ask us next time you are in the Shalimar Family office. We are always eager to help educate you on your oral health choices.