14 Foods that Support a Healthy Mouth
Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. You go to the dentist every six months, brush and floss twice daily, and take various precautions to make sure that your smile stays healthy and beautiful. But - much like caring for your body by exercising daily - are these practices enough if your diet doesn’t follow suit? At Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics - the trusted Pittsburgh dentist for cosmetic improvements and continuing care - we believe that knowledge is the key to maintaining a healthy smile, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 14 foods you need in your diet to ensure proper oral health for years to come.
Grown in East Asia, shiitake mushrooms have phenomenal benefits for your oral health. Studies have shown that these hearty, edible mushrooms contain compounds like carvacrol, adenosine, copalic acid, and erythritol that can prevent cavities and gum disease.
Onions contain microbial properties that help combat harmful bacteria that are the root cause of cavities and gum disease. Not to mention -- having the foul smell of onions on your breath may inspire an extra brush throughout the day, which your favorite Pittsburgh dentist will rarely be upset about.
Cranberries contain a property that makes it difficult for bacteria to cling onto surfaces like teeth and gums. They also prevent the formation of glucan, which helps creates plaque buildup on teeth.
Mint isn’t just used in toothpaste to give you that fresh and clean feeling. Mint has biological properties that help to kill bad breath bacteria. Additionally, mint helps prevent nausea in many patients, preventing the influx of stomach acid from vomit that can wear at your tooth enamel.
Milk & Cheese
Everyone knows that dairy products contain calcium that helps create strong bones and teeth. Milk and cheese also contain casein: a basic protein that neutralizes acidity caused by bacteria in the mouth.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away -- and the dentist too! Crunchy snacks increase salivation that helps rinse the mouth of extra food. This prevents cavities and helps to keep your mouth bright and clean.
Sugar-free gum not only helps temporarily mask bad breath, but can help to slow the effects of bacterial growth on the teeth. This is done through the presence of xylitol: a sugar alcohol in common chewing gums.
Almonds are a surprising item on this list because they are extremely hard and sometimes difficult to chew. However, these nuts are high in calcium and low in sugar. These benefits alone are enough for snackers to rejoice, but their crunch nature - much like with apples - increases saliva output that flushes away food particles.
Though seemingly obvious, water is a key portion of any diet. For our mouths in particular, water is used as a substitute for sugary drinks that cause cavities. Additionally, most tap water contains fluoride that helps to strengthen teeth.
Yogurts that contain a low amount of added sugar have incredible benefits for oral health. In addition to the calcium in dairy products having beneficial properties for strengthening enamel, yogurt contains a variety of healthy bacteria that prevent bad breath.
Leafy greens like kale, dandelion, and bok choy are somewhat of a holy grail for foods that benefit your oral health. These leafy greens contain natural phytochemicals that fight off harmful bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, leafy greens are rich in a variety of minerals that help strengthen teeth and aid in continues oral health.
Research from the Chicago College of Dentistry supports that raisins - much like leafy greens - contain phytochemicals that kill gum-disease and cavity-causing bacteria. Raisins are sticky and contain sugar, so it’s important to brush your teeth shortly after consumption to reap the benefits of these tiny dried fruits.
While we don’t recommend trying out the cinnamon challenge, research shows that this common spice contains a natural oil called cinnamic aldehyde. Cinnamic aldehyde actively fights the bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath, which is why cinnamon toothpaste is popular.
A variety of new research studies suggest that green tea prevents bone resorption, reduces inflammation, and inhibits the growth of bacteria. These features have undeniable for gum and periodontal health.
Eating right is key to maintaining healthy body weight and functions. While we are often focused on the benefits that a healthy diet has on our bodies, we forget that what we eat plays an important role in either promoting oral health or further harming our teeth and gums. Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics - your trusted Pittsburgh dentist - wants to make sure every visit is a good one, which you can continue to do by eating these great foods for your mouth and teeth.
Give the most trusted Pittsburgh dentist - Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics - a call today for all your dental needs. From checkups to Invisalign to facial aesthetics, Sixth Street Dental is the one-stop-shop for all your dental needs.