We’ve come a long way toward understanding that we need to eat leaner, favor white meat like fowl and pork, and to eat more fish. Though few people will ever seek nutritional counseling to ensure they are eating properly, reading the labels and seeking out info about our favorite foods on the internet has helped out immensely to eating healthier. In fact, years ago, people were a little lackadaisical about their teeth – if they lost a tooth here or there, they often just lived with the gap, unless it was right out front where the world could see that missing tooth. People often got a gold tooth to replace their missing tooth, and that was considered a status symbol. And as teeth were removed because they were broken or decayed, people obtained a bridge, then eventually dentures. For some, dentures never fit properly and spent more time soaking in a cup, only to be used for church and social occasions.
Boy, how things have changed. Through our dentist and hygienist we are way savvier about practicing good oral health, as that dental team encourages their patients to take care of their teeth to keep their natural teeth for as many years as possible.
This concept of preventive dentistry for the preservation of our teeth and overall health is not as dependent upon brushing and flossing properly, as steering clear away from sugary treats and beverages that promote tooth decay. It begins with nourishing our bodies, including our teeth, through adequate nutrition. Nutritional counseling is important for dental patients to be proactive toward maintaining their natural teeth for a long time. The nutritional composition of food, including combinations of food, all affect our oral health.
Benefits of fruits and veggies
Ongoing research shows that valuable antioxidants and nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans) and nuts not only may strengthen immunity, but also help improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all which is important to protect the teeth and gums. Certain foods and dietary habits enable the mouth to fend off cavity-causing bacteria attacks, thus minimizing, or totally eradicating, tooth decay. Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies has many health benefits; the health benefits listed here are only some, to learn more about healthy eating and get other daily health tips read some of the other posts on this blog.
Fruits and veggies, don’t just look good and taste good enjoying crisp fruits and raw veggies, like apples, carrots and celery, not only helps clean plaque from your teeth, but freshens your breath as well.
Good oral health
When you follow a nutritious diet, you’ll feel better and you will not be stuffing your body with unnatural substances but enjoying a healthy diet of natural ingredients – your entire body, teeth included will thank you. For example, see the correlation between certain foods and good oral health:
Vitamin C boosts your immunity
Antioxidants like Vitamin C help protect gums and other oral tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection. But don’t just rely on popping a Vitamin C supplement; instead get your Vitamin C straight from the source – fruits (and veggies), whether fresh, or frozen.
Most people associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes, so, you might be surprised to find out that the fruit with the best source of Vitamin C is kiwifruit!
While oranges do enjoy a reputation for being loaded with Vitamin C, the 69.7 mg of this vitamin found in one medium-sized orange cannot begin to compare with many other Vitamin C-laden fruits. Below you will see how a single serving compares:
- Pineapple – often mistaken for a citrus fruit, though they are not in the same family, the pineapple has excellent natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help you recover faster after a tough workout, but it yields 78.9 mg of Vitamin C in one serving;
- Strawberries – a sweet and delicious option for getting your dose of Vitamin C, a one-serving size contains 84.7 mg of Vitamin C (but it packs a punch with folate and other compounds shown to promote heart health);
- Papaya – a tasty option for a Vitamin C grab as one serving delivers 88.3 mg of Vitamin C;
- Mango – this tasty fruit makes you think of the tropics and is a good source of Vitamin A, great for eye health, and a single serving gives you a 122.3 mg boost.
- Kiwifruit – here’s your winner in the Vitamin C category since a single serving, or two of those fuzzy fruits, boasts 137.2 mg of Vitamin C. (It is also rich in potassium and copper.)
- Cranberries – This fruit is not just a Thanksgiving dinner staple, but these tiny berries help to ward off infection. While cranberries fall short as a superfood in the Vitamin C category, (a mere 13.3 mg in a whole cup of cranberries), you probably already know that cranberry juice is renowned for its effectiveness in treating urinary tract infections because it inhibits bacteria from attaching to the bladder and urethra. So, that’s all good, but how do cranberries help thwart bacteria in our mouth and prevent cavities and gum disease? Recent studies indicate that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque.
So, the crunch of a crispy apple helps to destroy the bacteria that threaten to thrive in our mouths. The Vitamin C properties in some fruits not only provide valuable nutrients to our bodies, and promote good oral health, but these fruits are workhorses that keep the bacteria that damage our teeth at bay. In the foreground, your dentist and hygienist work together to keep your teeth healthy; in the background is you, the patient, eating nutritionally and enjoying good oral health because you are proactively protecting your natural teeth for the long term.