Having good teeth means more than having a pretty smile, though we grant you that is a wonderful thing. But oral health, many studies suggest, is a sign of overall health, and the lack thereof can cause and be an indication of other health problems. Furthermore, having healthy teeth and gums can actually protect your body from certain diseases. For example, gum disease has been linked to heart disease. You can stay healthy with these 15 superfoods to help you get strong teeth and gums, whiten shiny teeth and prevent toothaches.
One would think everyone would know this, but water is one of the things that people often forget about. It helps you maintain your overall health condition, but is especially good for your teeth. This is because drinking water will cause certain healthy minerals to be deposited in your teeth, and will also keep your gums hydrated, and prevent tooth decomposition.
Teeth, like bones, need calcium in order to be as fit as possible. Calcium naturally strengthens the teeth, and milk and other dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium, in addition to containing generous amounts of phosphates and vitamin D, which repair the enamel of the teeth. For those who are lactose intolerant, soy milk is just as beneficial.
Try to eat a little bit of cheese after every major meal. This is helpful for oral health because it encourages the generation of saliva in your mouth, which counters the acid build up. Furthermore, being a dairy product, cheese also contains calcium and phosphates. So you shouldn’t worry about letting your kids eat cheese: it might actually give your children strong teeth.
Any kind of tea, whether black or green, is great for the health of your teeth and gums. This is because tea contains elements that effectively deal with cavities, including catechins and polyphenols. Furthermore, they cause erosion of the plaque-causing bacteria. To maximize the dental effect, take your tea without sugar. While many worry that tea can be erosive for the teeth, studies have actually shown that the effect of tea on the enamel of the tooth is very similar to that of water, i.e. there are no erosive effects at all. However, it should be noted that of the two kinds of tea, green tea is actually healthier than black tea, due to the presence of natural antioxidant compounds.
Nuts contain a staggering amount of vitamins and nutrients. To keep things interesting, you can munch a variety of different kinds of nuts, incorporating cashews, almonds, peanuts, hazel nuts and other nuts into your everyday diet. They’ll help you keep your teeth strong and healthy. They provide you with lots of plant-based proteins, and contain micronutrients like potassium, magnesium and phosphorous which are very healthy for your teeth.
6. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers everywhere can rejoice, because dark chocolate is actually really good for oral health. After all, cocoa contains tannins, and tannins reduce plaque formation and prevent the erosion of your teeth. In fact, they also reduce any soreness in your gums and improve your blood circulation.
As we all know, there is a particularly healthy bacterium called lactobacillus that turns milk into yogurt. If you don’t have some yogurt with at least one meal every day, start getting into the habit, for your stomach as well as your teeth. It improves oral health by providing your body with calcium and protein.
When that great thinker said that an apple a day would keep the doctor a day, he forgot to mention that it just might keep the dentist away as well! Chewing apples strengthens your teeth and your gums. Furthermore, if taken after meals, it cleans out the particles of food that might have gotten stuck in your teeth. Finally, it improves the generation of saliva and thus prevents cavities.
9. Sugarless Gum
While overdoing it with the chewing gum can cause dehydration, judicious use may actually help you improve your oral health, once again by producing saliva in your mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and washing away acids and unhealthy bacteria. Remember, however, that chewing gum should not be used as a substitute for flossing and brushing.
10. Bone Broth
As you probably know, bone broth is made up leftover meat bits, and especially bones. That means that it’s going to be very rich in calcium. Using leftover bits to make a broth will serve you well across the board, improving the health of your hair, nails, bones, and, of course, teeth.
You know it better as an ingredient of everyone’s (or at least most people’s) favorite kind of candy. Licorice is, by its very nature, anti-bacterial. Having some while make your mouth feel fresher. It will also reduce the risk of cavity formation, and work away any plaque accumulation too. The compounds found in the dried roots are often used to treat tooth decay as well as gum disease.
Being citrusy and acidic, and containing compounds of vitamins and calcium, oranges work as a natural brush or floss of sorts. They prevent tooth decay and get rid of any microbes that might be hanging about. Mind you, the acids may also work at your teeth as well, so make sure you brush properly afterwards.
You already know that calcium is a great thing for your bones and your teeth. The problem is, however, that the calcium requires some kind of carrier so that it is properly absorbed into the body. That’s exactly what the mushrooms do: they contain lots of vitamin D that helps the body absorb the calcium that it needs, giving you your strong and hopefully completely plaque-free teeth.
14. Cod Liver Oil
Okay, this isn’t nearly as tasty as some of the other options on this list, but it is good for you. Really, a lot of people ‘remineralize’ their teeth using cod liver oil: it has been known to deal with cavities in a completely natural fashion. Using fermented cod liver oil can slow down tooth decay, in some cases halting it altogether. This is because it contains vitamins A and D.
15. Five Spices
Five spices, the names of which you can remember pretty easily because they all start with C. Coriander, clove, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon are all incredibly rich in nutrients and have many natural health benefits. In terms of oral health, these include dealing with less than healthy bacteria and helping you prevent many kinds of damage to your teeth.
So that’s 15 superfoods that you should start incorporating into your diet, if you haven’t already. Remember, however, that while these will strengthen your gums and teeth and help you keep them healthy, they are not the Bible of oral health. You still need to brush your teeth properly, wash out your mouth after you eat anything, and, generally, do everything your dentist tells you to do. Neither will these superfoods save you from your usual trips to the dentist: you still need to schedule (and keep) an appointment at least once in six months.