Everyone knows the old saying, “you are what you eat,” but when it comes to your teeth, that is not an accurate representation. For a healthy smile, the new saying should be “your teeth reflect what you eat.”

Processed foods, simple carbohydrates, fats, and sugars can all play into the increased levels of plaque inside your mouth. The outcome? An increased number of cavities you may have or the presence of gum disease.

So what kinds of foods are good for your teeth and gums? Here are a few to get you started:

Carrots and Apples

Crispy, fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for snacking on, because they “clean” your teeth while you chew them. The firm textures stimulate oxygenation inside your gum tissues. Your oral health will benefit if you choose fresh produce over processed products, such as canned or pureed fruits. These tend to contain extra juices filled with sugars.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Certain types of dairy products can neutralize the pH level inside your mouth when you are eating it. When you feel the need for a snack during the day take the cheddar cheese instead of a sugary snack. The calcium in cheese enriches your teeth and bones while reducing the toxicity of acids inside your mouth.

Fish and Fish Oil

Fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Supplementing your diet with fish or fish oil is a great way to boost your oral health. It will also increase your ability to fight infections such as, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Although it will not “heal” your gum infection, it can help to round out the comprehensive approach with good flossing and professional dental cleanings.

Tap Water

Instead of sipping on caffeinated beverages, fruit juices, or hydrating with sports drinks, reach for tap water instead. Water is free from natural sugars, acids, and artificial sweeteners. Also, it washes your enamel while you drink it, lowering the amount of plaque biofilm inside your mouth.
Check with your local municipality to find out if your area’s water supply has fluoride. Managed fluoride levels provide greater results when it comes to lowering cavity levels in the community. Bottled water usually doesn’t have regulated fluoride levels in it, so be sure to talk with our dentists about safe ways to supplement!

Not Hungry? Chew on a Piece of Gum

Between meals or snacking, consider chewing on a piece of gum that contains Xylitol. It actually prevents plaque from building up and collecting on your teeth, due to its reaction at a molecular level. Studies have shown that it lowers the biofilm levels inside your mouth!

At Hawthorne Village Dental Care, Dr. Raju Sarna is happy to answer any questions you might have about foods that are good for your oral health.