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Foods that are good for your teeth and gums

As January draws to a close, it’s tempting to ditch your New Year’s Eve healthy eating resolutions and indulge in sugary treats instead. It’s okay to eat sweets in moderation — but the price to your dental health for eating them too much can be high, leading to things like cavities and cavities. Even common habits like drinking coffee or soda can weaken enamel and stain teeth. While the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day, there are additional steps you can take to protect your teeth from wear and tear and keep your gums in tip-top shape. Among them, one of the most important is to prioritize nutritious foods as part of your daily diet. Keep reading for our list of delicious foods And Good for your teeth.

How does your diet affect your dental health?

Dental health becomes more important as we age. According to MedlinePlus.gov, age-related changes such as decreased bone density and slower cell renewal rates affect the tissues and bones in the mouth. This increases the risk of oral health problems — including gum disease and dry mouth — over time. If left untreated, poor oral health can lead to other health conditions, such as heart disease and pneumonia.

Your diet plays a role in your dental health because you eat and drink throughout the day — and, obviously, all that food goes through your mouth. Frequently eating acidic foods can erode enamel and make teeth vulnerable to decay, while sticky foods like dried fruits may also lead to damage, the ADA warns, since they usually stay on teeth longer. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption may reduce saliva production over time; The ADA notes that this causes tooth decay and other oral infections, including gum disease.

It might all sound scary. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods you can enjoy that balance these effects and actually contribute to dental health.

Foods that are good for your teeth

Consuming a range of preserved foods on a regular basis will nourish your teeth and gums. Here are three nutrients that the ADA suggests aiming for when making food choices:

  • Calcium: Foods such as cheese, milk, fortified tofu, yogurt, leafy green vegetables, and almonds are all rich in calcium. This mineral (known as the most abundant mineral in the body) strengthens the enamel – the hard outer shell of the tooth. The Mayo Clinic notes that the recommended daily calcium intake for women ages 19 to 50 is 1,000 milligrams (mg).
  • Phosphorus: This mineral works together with calcium to protect and rebuild tooth enamel. The best sources of phosphorus include meat, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes. According to the experts at Mount Sinai Health System, adults should consume 700 mg per day.
  • Fiber (through fruits and vegetables): Fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, carrots, and celery are fibrous. Chewing on these foods helps stimulate saliva production to get rid of harmful acids and food particles from the teeth. Also, products rich in vitamin C are essential for protecting the gums and other tissues from bacterial infection and cell damage. Federal guidelines indicate that adults need to consume up to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day.

bottom line

It seems that the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might also be true for the dentist! Eating the right foods and taking care of your dental health will result in fewer frequent trips to the dentist and more protection against disease over time – a win-win. For more tips on getting a brighter smile, check out these stories about using mouthwash before brushing and whether to choose dental floss over a water flosser.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.