Todays post we’ll talk about Apples, Pears, Meat, Fish, Nuts, Tea & Coffee, Cranberries, Strawberries, and Raisins. What do they have in common? How are they all great foods for your mouth, or nutrition for dental health? Let’s dig in!
Apples & Pears
Hard fibrous fruits like apples and pears not only clean your teeth as you chew, but they also stimulate your gums and are a catalyst for saliva production. The saliva that is produced chewing hard fruit is more than needed to dilute and neutralize any harmful citrus or malic acids they contain. In fact, raw pears can actually reduce acidity in your mouth. Although it’s true that drinking apple or pear juice (especially when sugar is added) can be the cause of tooth decay, it is not the case when eaten in their natural state.
Fruits and veggies promote dental health because of the antioxidants they contain. Vitamins found in fruits like vitamin C protect your mouth at the cellular level by shielding your gums and tissues from common bacterial infection.
Some of the essential amino acids and body building minerals that our teeth and our whole-body needs are found in nuts. Nuts contain fiber, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Just to name a few.
Have you ever eaten a handful of nuts and felt your whole body perk up? It may be because they are so rich in energy and nutrients you might not be getting from other foods. There are so many different kinds of nuts and each has different nutritional value. So, add a few to your diet for a healthy body and mouth.
Meats and Fatty Fish
Like nuts, meat is also packed with important and specific nutrients. Protein, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, zinc and phosphorus are all found in meat. Phosphorus strengthens tooth enamel and fish such as salmon, cod, and herring (among others) are loaded with it. See “12 best fish to eat” from healthhline.com
Tea and Coffee
Tea and coffee are often given a bad reputation, but in moderation, both can be good for you and your oral health. Both contain polyphenols which are antioxidants. Therefore good, polyphenols are said to boost digestion and brain health, protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers (including oral cancer). Green and black teas are rich in polyphenols. But beware, too much coffee or tea can dry your mouth, and cause stains.
Fortunately, tea and coffee don’t have a monopoly on polyphenols.
Cranberries and Raisins
The all-important polyphenols are also found in cranberries which are known to slow the build up of plaque. Keep in mind we are talking about fresh cranberries, not cranberries with added processed sugar. Raisins are another fruit snack with polyphenols. And even though it’s true that dried fruit is bad for teeth, raisins are one exception to this rule as their benefits outweigh their flaws. Some compounds found in raisins fight bacteria that cause tooth decay, gingivitis and bad breath. Eat raisins, but remember the rule, “if its sticky, be picky” because not all dried fruit will support oral health.
Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C which is known for having antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants are essential for a healthy mouth because dentin collagen needs Vitamin C to maintain its structure during growth, therefore giving your teeth the ability to grow and bulk up. But there is more! Strawberries also contain a natural occurring form of malic acid that has tooth whitening abilities.
So, there you have it. Lots of good dental reasons to eat Apples, Pears, Meat, Fish, Nuts, Tea & Coffee, Cranberries, Strawberries, and Raisins. Read our conclusion next week to Nutrition for Dental Health and we’ll reveal some surprising foods that promote a beautiful smile.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.