We all know about the different ways that nutrition can support the body, after all, our bodies literally need nutrients to function. However, what a lot of people don’t recognize that there are a variety of different foods out there that can play indirect roles in our health while they are fueling up our body. A good example of this is oral health. All food goes through the mouth, after all, but you may be surprised by the benefits that it provides.
Foods to avoid
Let’s start the conversation with some of the most obvious foods to avoid, in a little case of addition by subtraction in terms of your diet. Some of these foods are likely things that you’ve been told to moderate from childhood, like carbonated drinks and candy. However, you’d be surprised what other foods may not be the best to overeat for your teeth.
For example, there’s nothing wrong with a drink every now and then, but alcohol is known to dry out your mouth. Why does this matter? Saliva is an essential component for oral health, washing away food particles and keeping food from sticking to your teeth. So, when you’re out drinking, don’t forget to add a little water every now and again to balance.
Nutrition vs. oral health
In some cases, even food that is good for you can cause some teeth problems. For example, dried fruit is a favorite for people who are looking for a snack on the go, but you need to be careful what you grab. Certain dried fruits, like apricots and figs, are sticky. If they get caught in parts of your teeth, this can lead to a lot of concentrated sugar just sitting there. Fresh fruit is better, but if you need to use dried fruit, just be sure to floss afterward.
Foods beneficial for oral health
Don’t worry, though, as there are plenty of other useful foods that you can add to your diet in order to help your teeth and mouth stay healthy. The obvious place to start is in the dairy world, with foods like cheese and yogurt. The reason for this is that these foods are high in both calcium and protein, which are essential to strengthen the teeth. Probiotic yogurt is also useful because it helps bring balance to the microbiome in your mouth as well as the gut.
There are other options as well. For example, in the same way that alcohol causes your mouth to dry out, there are foods that can speed up saliva production, like apples. In addition, studies show that a lot of teas contain compounds called polyphenols. These can help suppress some of the bacteria in your mouth that we associate with bad breath.
Gum health is also important
Another important thing to keep in mind is food that supports the gums as well as the teeth. According to the experts at Truedent Family Dentistry, “Gum disease affects half of all Americans. Brushing, flossing, and attending regular checkups and cleanings help prevent gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. First symptoms of the condition include gum inflammation, redness, and sensitivity. The advanced stage is known as periodontitis, and it involves destruction of the gums, jawbone, or both, as well as tooth loss.”
Using coconut oil
To do this, you’re going to want to look into foods that have natural antiseptic properties, and one that’s becoming more popular is coconut. Using coconut oil in your cooking and coconut milk for smoothies and other dishes is a great way to try and cut down on gum trouble. In fact, if you’re a little bolder, you can use an ancient Indian technique called oil pulling. Don’t worry, it’s not painful—you just swish around some coconut oil in an area where you are feeling pain, then spit it out. Both options are great to get another use out of something you may already be cooking with.
Take advice of your dentist
In general, the medical professionals in your life should not only be helping you when you have a health issue, but also be providing valuable advice when you are well. This marks a perfect opportunity for you to use their integrated advice. For example, if your dentist gives you a review of your teeth that you don’t like, take the time to go over with them some of your favorite snacks and whether they’re less than teeth-friendly. Armed with this knowledge, you can visit your doctor or nutritionist and get some recommendations on what they think may serve as healthy alternatives. You have all types of tools and resources to get healthy, so don’t be afraid to use them.
Article Submitted By Community Writer