CHEW ON THIS. WITHOUT TEETH, YOU CANíT CHEW!
Itís important we take the time to really look at our teeth to make sure we arenít compromising their health. While they are small, both our teeth and our gums are more important to our overall health than we realize. Theyíre vital for us to eat and chew our food, and their health directly links to other parts of the body you never knew could happen!
In order to protect our teeth from ourselves, weíve got to make sure the fuel weíre putting into our bodies is good for our teeth. From a dental nutrition standpoint, weíd like to show you what foods are good for your teeth, and perhaps which ones arenít.
Fun Fact Ė People with 25 or more teeth tend to have better eating habits and more nutritious diets. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and count how many teeth you have. You need as many healthy teeth as possible to eat and enjoy nutritious foods.
Given a choice, weíll take our favorite foods, even if they arenít the healthiest. For a lot of us, our diets consist mainly of carbs and sugars. What you probably didnít know is that carbs and sugars are the easiest gateway for harmful bacteria to start attacking your teeth. That sounds rough, and it is! The result of it is tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease and even the loss of teeth!
Brushing twice a day and regular flossing are awesome ways to help protect your teeth from a dreadful fate, but youíve got to eat right as well! Youíre probably just wondering what food you need to look out for during your next visit to the market. Fortunately, you donít have to change your grocery list much.
We suggest picking up lean protein and fresh vegetables, and avoiding processed foods that are generally high in simple sugars. Items rich in anthocyanins (blueberries, cranberries, red cabbage and black rice) are great for preventing bacteria buildup on your teeth. Probiotic foods (yogurts, raw cheese, miso soup and apple cider vinegar) suppresses the development of pathogens. Soy products (soybeans, bean sprouts and tofu) in your cart will help reduce periodontal disease. Green tea is a polyphenol that reduces any bacteria and toxins finding their homes in your mouth.
Understanding how your diet plays a role in the health of your teeth is extremely important, especially if you donít plan to lose any teeth in the future. As an added bonus, weíd like to share some of our recommendations.
Add chewing gum to your diet, but only xylitol gum and only after meals. Xylitol gum promotes salivation which inhibits cavity-causing bacteria from building up in your mouth. Donít go too far with it, too much has links to gas and bloating.
Eat a mix of raw fruits and vegetables every day. Whether itís a snack or a part of your meal, raw fruits and vegetables help clean up bacteria and plaque along the surface of your teeth. The best of them includes apples, carrots and bell peppers.
Sugar itself doesnít cause cavities. The sheer amount of sugar consumed isnít nearly as bad as how often you consume it. Itís okay to hit the chocolates and candy every now and then, but itís best to avoid sodas and energy drinks, for the repeated hits of sugar on the teeth is what causes enamel demineralization and tooth decay. If your diet circulates around energy drinks, you may not have any teeth come your 45th birthday.