What we eat has effect over our oral health too. One needs to follow proper diet for strengthening teeth and gums, and prevent them from cavities or gum disorders.
The moment we eat, bacteria in the mouth start converting sugars from foods to acids that attack the tooth enamel, initiating the decay process. Hence, one must choose foods positive for the oral health, to protect them from regular acid attack and the decaying process.
Foods For Healthy Gums And Teeth
Cheese is the first choice as it is high in calcium and low in sugar. Cheese helps in re-mineralization of teeth and protects them from cavities. Moreover, casein, majorily found in milk, is richly present in cheese and useful for fortifying surface of teeth.
Cheese also stimulates the production of saliva and aids in clearing off the food debris. Additionally, fat and protein content of cheese counter the acid formed from carbohydrates fermentation, by disallowing it to stick to tooth surfaces. So enjoy cheesy foods and nibble them as a snack.
Yogurt is also rich in casein, calcium and phosphorous like cheese and hence, equally useful in strengthening teeth by re-mineralization and prevention of cavity formation.
Sugar Free Gum
Artificial sweeteners are usually not preferred with respect to health, but with respect to dental health, xylitol comes as an exception. Xylitol, a replacement for sugars, is commonly found in sugar free mints and gums and helps to prevent acid formation, from plague forming bacteria and protects the tooth enamel.
It serves as anti sugar and no more serves as regular feed to the bacteria, thereby saving teeth from decay and gum disease. Chewing gum also increases saliva production that works against tooth decay. But, for those with jaw pain and associated problems, chewing may not be the preferred option.
Fresh fruits, being fibrous in nature like vegetables, stimulate saliva formation. In particular, pears are considered more beneficial as the crunchy fruit offers huge acid neutralizing role on the tooth surface than other fruits like apple, banana, pineapples and mandarins.
The neutralizing effects of pears is due to its high water content that dilutes out the harmful effect of natural sugars in them, washes away food debris and harmful acids.
Celery is a winner amongst all fibrous raw vegetables as it generates numerous fibrous strands on chewing that serves as natural cleaning agent for the teeth. Additionally, increased saliva production helps the teeth cleansing process.
Sesame seeds are known to reduce plague formation and help in re-mineralization of the tooth enamel. Sesame oil gargling is popularly used as ayurvedic medicine and commonly known as ‘oil pulling’.
It has shown to provide similar effects to that of chlorhexidine mouthwash, which helps to reduce total bacterial count, plague formation and development of gingival disease.
Milk serves as nutritious and tooth friendly food that is rich in casein protein, calcium and phosphorous. Drinking milk along with cookies or other sweets helps to dilute out the cavity forming potential of sugar, present in the sweeten foods. It is a healthy and tastier option to have milk with your favorite cookies or sweets.
Even chocolate milk is much better than eating chocolate alone. Chocolate in the milk is in liquid form and so the sugar from chocolate does not stay for long in mouth and get cling to tooth surface. Moreover, both cocoa and milk nutrients are efficient in protecting against cavities.
Foods Of Caution
Starch – Sugar Combination
Combination of sugar and starch present in sweetened baked foods like muffins, doughnuts and cookies are worse than only sugar.
These get stick easily to teeth and are hard to dislodge, unless brushing is performed soon after having these.
Those who love eating acidic foods of pickles, colas, citrus juices should be cautioned as regular use of these can erode the enamel and make teeth more prone to cavities. Sour candies cause double trouble as these are rich in both acid and sugar.