Most parents are aware of the importance of teaching their children good oral hygiene habits. Creating a regular brushing and flossing routine from an early age is key to keeping kids’ smiles healthy.
As adults, we may have forgotten those lessons we learned when we were younger or fallen into a routine and not thought about how the foods we eat affect our teeth.
We’ve shared before about how sugary foods and drinks can negatively impact teeth, and foods that are the worst for your teeth around Halloween and Thanksgiving.
It’s important for you to know that there are foods that can improve your and your child’s pearly whites as well.
The common saying “an apple day keeps the doctor away” applies to dentists too. Apples are great for teeth! Not only do they pack a powerful punch of vitamins, the act of eating apples helps remove plaque from teeth. The apple’s skin scrubs against your teeth which can also help remove stains. They’re also a solution for getting rid of bad breath.
Healthy, crunchy snacks like carrots and celery have a similar “scrubbing” effect on teeth as apples do. They are also full of fiber and vitamin A, which helps gum health.
Enjoying a raw carrot after a meal will help your mouth salivate more, which helps you fend off tooth decay.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green means go! Spinach and other leafy green vegetables have a huge variety of health and dental benefits. In addition to iron and antioxidants, they are full of beta-carotene which keeps tooth enamel strong.
If your child balks at these nutritional powerhouses, there are plenty of way to sneak them into their favorite foods.
There is a strong connection between healthy gums and vitamin C. It helps the gum lining stay healthy and battle against the bacteria that constantly grows in your mouth. A deficiency in it can lead to gum swelling or bleeding. Adding oranges, guavas, or kiwifruit to your diet is an easy and delicious way to get your recommended daily dose.
Strawberries are another provider of vitamin C, and a great summertime snack that help your gums. 100 grams of strawberries (approximately 9 medium sized berries) meets 98% of the suggested daily value of vitamin C, which is a higher percentage than oranges.
A note about strawberries: Although it’s a popular trend (due to being featured on the Dr. Oz show), we don’t recommend using a mix of strawberries and baking soda as a natural teeth whitener. Strawberries include natural sugar which means you’ll still need to brush your teeth afterwards, and the little seeds can easily get stuck in between your teeth as well. The acidity of strawberries is also bad for teeth as it can lead to tooth erosion. Our bodies cannot regenerate enamel once it is lost.
Salmon and other fish
Our aquatic friends provide us with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids AND vitamin D, another key component to strong teeth and jaw bones. If you have children prone to spending increasing amounts of time indoors and out of the sun’s vitamin D boasting rays, you can help make sure your child is getting the recommended amount (400IU/day) through their diet.
Keeping your Teeth Healthy
Beavers Dentistry has been keeping smiles healthy and bright for over 40 years. We offer a full range of adult and pediatric dental services at our office in Cary. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.