“Smile and the world will smile with you” is one of the sayings that we have commonly heard. Our smile gives a boost to our personality and confidence. A smile of our face is enhanced when our teeth are white and strong and gums healthy. Now, are there any the best foods for healthy gums and strong teeth? Of course yes! Apart from the oral care, that we need to do regularly, diet and nutrition also plays an important role in tooth development, prevention and management of diseases of the oral cavity. Development of tooth decay or caries on the teeth is not a good sign thus lowering our self-esteem.
When we eat sugary or starchy food, we are feeding not only ourselves but also the plaque in the mouth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless mass of microorganisms, salivary proteins and polysaccharides that adheres to the teeth and gums. When we eat food or drinks containing fermentable carbohydrates, the acid that is formed can attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can damage the tooth enamel thus leading to tooth decay.
Plaque can also poison the gums and the bones supporting teeth. A healthy diet is essential to maintain a strong set of teeth. A balanced diet is good to maintain a healthy set of teeth and the reverse is also true. A set of healthy teeth is necessary for the balanced diet.
Best Foods for Healthy Gums and Strong Teeth
Although some foods can cause tooth decay, some foods can help fight plaque buildup. Foods that are perfect for healthy teeth are-
1. Fibre Rich Fruits and Vegetables are Good for Strong Teeth
Eating foods rich in fibre protect your teeth and gums and guard it against harmful bacteria. Chewing high fibre foods like apples or nuts helps the mouth to produce lots of saliva. These will not only start the digestive process but also keeps the food particles off from your teeth and fights the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Eating foods rich in fibre needs lot of chewing; hence it is a problem for those whose teeth are weakened due to tooth decay. However, consuming natural fibre rich food is what you need rather than consuming fibre in the form of smoothies or supplements.
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2. Dairy Products are Must-Have for Healthy Gums
Do you really want healthy gums and teeth? Then stock up your kitchen shelf with the supply of milk, cheese and yogurt. Dairy products help in improving the oral health and also reduce the risk of developing periodontal diseases or gum diseases which are the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Dairy products, by virtue of their calcium and phosphorus buffering potential, are considered to have low cariogenic potential. Cheeses, in particular, cheddar cheese, have anti-cariogenic properties or they are effective in suppressing caries production. It stimulates alkaline saliva which reduces plaque bacteria. Studies have shown that cheeses and milk when taken with cariogenic foods, provides some protection against cariogenic agents.
3. Consume moderate green tea for good gums
Tea contains antioxidants like catechin and flavonoids and tannin type substances that can have anti-microbial effects. Studies have found that black tea can combat two types of bacteria that are associated with tooth decay and gum diseases like Streptococcus mutants and However it is essential to keep in mind that since black tea is more processed, it contains fewer antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds than green tea. Green tea contains compounds that help control the inflammation and fights bacterial infection. Hence, green tea helps in preventing cavities. Green tea also kills microorganisms associated with stinky breath thus it is essential for maintaining better smelling breath.
4. Sugarless Chewing Gum Reduces Tooth Decay
The practice of chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can help to reduce the tooth decay. This is because of the increased flow of the saliva that is associated with the chewing of the gum. Saliva helps to remove the food remains or the debris that are present in the mouth, neutralizes the acid and prevents the erosion of the tooth enamel and reduces the bacterial build up thus preventing the tooth decay. Saliva also contains calcium, phosphates and fluorides that can strengthen the tooth enamel.
5. Foods With Fluoride
Fluoride is the most efficient anti-caries agent that is available.Fluoride helps reverse the decay process and promotes the development of the tooth surface. It helps deter the harmful effects of bacteria in the cavity by interfering with the acid production by the bacterial cell.
The primary source of fluoride is fluoridated water, food and beverages in smaller amounts. Topical fluoride sources are toothpaste, gels, rinses used by us daily.
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6. Strawberries help in the whitening of the teeth
Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that helps in the whitening of the teeth. This enzyme is also found in few whitening kinds of toothpaste. This fruit also has fibre which acts as a cleanser to remove the bacteria from the teeth and mouth. You can mash or rub the strawberry on the surface of the teeth. Leave this juice for one minute on your teeth and then rinse it with water.
Hence no matter what your age is, dental care is very important. When our mouth is healthy, we can have proper nutrition. Smiling, laughing or talking looks nice when we have the healthy set of teeth.
What are The Guidelines for The Prevention of Dental Caries?
- Brush at least twice daily, preferably after meals.
- Rinse your mouth after meals and snacks when brushing is not possible.
- Chew sugarless gum for 15 to 20 minutes after meals and snacks. Floss twice daily.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Pair cariogenic foods like crackers, chips, pretzels, hot and cold cereals and bread with cariostatic foods like eggs, meat, fish and vegetables.
- Snack on cariostatic and anticarcinogenic foods like cheese, nuts, popcorn and vegetables.
- Limit the intake of carbohydrate-containing foods that are sticky and adhere to the teeth as these are more cavity-causing. They are difficult to brush away and remain in the mouth for the longer period of time. The examples of these foods are caramels, dried fruits, bread, potato chips and crackers can stick between the teeth.
We do take care of our hair and skin. But it is also essential that we give importance to the dental care as a beautiful set of teeth helps to boost our personality.