Yes, brushing and flossing daily – along with regular checkups from your dentist – is essential for long term oral health.
But there’s more to the story of course: Diet also plays an enormous part in overall health in general and oral health in particular.
So what are some of the best things to eat for better oral health? The following plant-based foods are delicious ways to add a mouth-friendly addition to whatever’s already on your plate.
Some of the health benefits of green tea are already well known: consumption of the delicious herb has been linked to better brain function, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, not to mention it’s fat-burning and inflammation-reducing properties.
But that’s just the beginning of a green tea’s positive qualities. Studies suggest that the catechins in green tea may suppress the growth of bacteria in the mouth, reducing the likelihood of infections, and promoting fresher breath. Other studies suggest that consumption of green tea may lower risk of oral cancers.
Taken without sweetener, it’s a refreshing and healthy choice.
High in calcium and phosphorus – two minerals crucial for tooth remineralization – nuts are a great addition to any diet. They’re also high in magnesium which aids in the absorption of calcium and helps prevent the formation of cavities.
Raw is best and especially avoid nuts options that come with sweet additives or excessive salt.
Just exercise a little caution when biting down: tough nuts can result in cracked or broken teeth.
Crunchy veges like carrots are a mouth’s best friend. Like other raw vegetables, carrots are fiber-rich and delicious, stimulating the saliva flow when eaten (your mouth’s natural defence), and scrubbing the tooth surface clean as you chew. Even better, carrots contain beta-carotene – which your body requires to make Vitamin A – a nutrient essential in the construction of strong teeth.
Did you know that antibacterial sulfur compounds in onions kill the harmful bacteria on your teeth? It’s true.
Their tooth-friendly properties are most potent when eaten raw – right when their breath-friendly properties are at their lowest – so maybe follow up with some sugar-free chewing gum (another good option for healthy teeth) or even a sprig of parsley, if you’re feeling particularly dangerous.
Sometimes called nature’s toothbrush, apples have a range of health benefits. For one thing, they’re high in VItamin C, an essential nutrient for strong, healthy teeth and gums. Their crisp, juicy texture is great for removing plaque and other debris from teeth, plus they’re packed with antioxidants.
Sesame seeds are a dental superfood. Not only do they buff plaque from teeth when eaten, they’re also high in calcium, meaning they help create harder, more durable enamel on the tooth’s surface. They’re also a source of healthy fats, plant-protein, B vitamins, and minerals.
Don’t forget water. By far the healthiest drink on the planet, water drinking brings a multitude of health benefits with it. It helps nutrients circulate around your body, rids the body of waste products, and nothing refreshes quite like it.
It makes a pretty good mouthwash, and if your local water supply is fluoridated, your teeth will receive an extra strengthening boost too.
Of course, there’s no single, magic food that will ensure good oral health. Rather, it’s the balance of a healthy, varied diet, coupled with a good daily hygiene practice and regular dental checkups that are your best bet for a long-lasting smile.
So when was the last time you had a check-up? Click here to book online.