Recently, the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) released a free e-Booklet titled Recipes for a Healthier Smile including recipes for meals, snacks, drinks, and even homemade mouthwash that you can make at home. They are all created to improve or maintain good oral health in one way or another. So why does your diet affect your oral health? And what foods can you eat or avoid to maintain a healthy mouth?
Obviously, sugar-filled drinks and foods are bad for your teeth since they cause tooth decay, but they also often lack any nutritional value that is necessary in contributing to the health of your mouth. When your diet lacks certain nutrients it may be harder for your gums to resist disease, making them more susceptible to gum disease (and as we've mentioned plenty of times in this blog, gum disease can lead to a hoard of problems, including tooth loss). It is the belief of many researchers that people with poor diets may contract diseases easier and diseases may progress faster than healthier people.
A good diet can insure that you have healthy gums, a lowered risk of tooth decay, and a generally healthier feeling mouth. Looking to improve your diet and your oral health? Look for foods that:
Balance your pH. Nuts, lemons, and yogurt can all assist in balancing the pH in your body and mouth, thereby protecting your teeth.
Contain Vitamin C. A lack of Vitamin C can make your gums more susceptible to gum disease, so eat foods that contain a lot of it! Kiwi, citrus fruits, peppers, and pineapple are all good sources of Vitamin C.
Increase saliva production. Crunchy vegetables, like carrots and celery, massage your gums and increase saliva production. Saliva helps wash away any food particles left over in your teeth, lowering your risk of tooth decay.
Are high in Vitamin D. Salmon, milk, eggs, and mushrooms are all rich in Vitamin D, which is important in keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
Contain catechin. Catechin is an antioxidant that can reduce the bacteria in your mouth that causes gingivitis. Catechin rich foods include: dark chocolate, cranberries, green tea, raw apples, pears, and raspberries.
For more smile-healthy foods and recipes, check out the Recipes for a Healthier Smile e-Booklet!