What to eat for your oral health
Some foods help to strengthen teeth, while others can cause serious damage.
If you are looking for ways to improve your oral health, it is worth considering the role that nutrition plays in the condition of your teeth and gums. Certain foods can help to keep teeth strong, while others can cause damage in the long-term. Read on to find out which foods you should incorporate into your diet to make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients, and which ones are best avoided or enjoyed in moderation only…
Which foods should you eat?
To keep your teeth healthy and strong, try and eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods that are low in sugar and carbohydrates, and high in fibre. Oily fish, such as salmon, is a great option because it is packed with vitamins that are good for your overall health. Oily fish contains vitamin D, which works with other vitamins to actually deliver calcium to the teeth. This helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth and may even reduce the risk of tooth decay. Oily fish is also very high in omega-3 fats, which reduces inflammation, a common symptom of gum disease.
Dairy products may also benefit your oral health as they are naturally high in vitamin K2. Good sources of the vitamin include cheese, butter and milk.
Leafy greens, like spinach and kale are also good for your teeth because they are packed with prebiotics, which healthy bacteria feed on. When you eat leafy greens, your mouth produces bacteria that reduces nitrates, which in turn contributes to a healthier oral microbiome. Leafy greens, especially those that are darker in colour, also contain loads of minerals that assist with the remineralisation process and strengthen the enamel of your teeth.
What should you avoid?
Generally, it is best to avoid foods that are sugary and processed, as well as those that are acidic. Crackers are among the foods that should be eaten in moderation only. When you eat crackers, the carbohydrates break down quickly, and produce sugars for harmful bacteria to feed on. The bacteria then excrete acid, which leads to a build-up of plaque and issues like tooth decay.
Try and avoid drinking sodas, as these are generally very high in sugar, and are also acidic. In fact, even sugar-free sodas have a very high acid level, which can contribute to issues like dental erosion, tooth decay and gum disease. Rather stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Dried fruit is another food that can cause oral health issues. Although it may seem healthier than sugary candy, dried fruit can easily get stuck in the teeth and lead to tooth decay. If you’re craving something sweet, opt for whole fresh fruit instead.
How can we help?
At Future Dental, we encourage our patients to come in and see us for regular check-ups and cleans. This gives us the opportunity to identify any issues at an early stage, and also allows us to discuss any nutrition-related questions or concerns that you might have. If you need any information about how to improve your oral health, our team is available to help.
We offer a range of dental hygiene education services, including dietary advice and counselling to reduce oral disease. We also provide education about your particular risk factors for oral health problems, and can help to improve your overall dental hygiene techniques.
To find out more about our dental hygiene services, please have a look here.
We also offer a number of other preventative, restorative, cosmetic and orthodontic treatments. To find out more about the range of treatments that are available at Future Dental, please have a look here.
If you would like to make an appointment to see us, please get in touch here or give us a call on (07) 4051 4580. We are conveniently located in Cairns, and are open from Monday to Thursday from 8am to 5pm on these days.