Eating foods high in nutrients during the summer, helps promote strong teeth and good oral health all year long.
Foods that are high in sugar and poor in the nutrients necessary for healthy teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Foods high in starches, sugars, and carbohydrates also help promote plaque, which can build up and cause breakdown of tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Arkansas Family Dental, a family dental clinic in Little Rock, has provided this handy list of delicious summer foods that contribute to strong teeth and good oral health.
Cheese is a great source of calcium, which helps strengthen teeth and promote healthy blood vessels and nerves throughout tissues in the mouth. Eating cheese raises the pH levels in the mouth and reduces risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains vitamin D, which helps the body in processing and utilizing calcium.
Yogurt, like cheese, is high in both calcium and protein—an ideal choice for promoting strong teeth and good dental health. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria. These healthful bacteria populate areas in the mouth to prevent harmful bacteria from flourishing and causing cavities. Choose plain yogurt without added sugar.
Leafy green vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. Spinach and kale are excellent for oral health. These greens are high in calcium, and they contain folic acid, a B vitamin that provides a whole range of health benefits, including promoting gum health. Baby spinach leaves are perfect for salads, as the darker the green, the healthier it is.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans and other nuts from trees provide the perfect crunchy, salty addition to food dishes, without adding excessive sugar. Tree nuts are high in vitamin E, which helps remove free radicals in gum structures to promote gum health. Almonds are also great sources of both calcium and protein, and they are low in sugar.
Sunflower seeds help increase energy levels, and the servings normally do not contain the sugar added to some varieties of sweeter seeds and nuts. Sunflower seeds also contain magnesium and selenium, which are both helpful in keeping oral tissues strong and healthy.
Although apples do contain a significant amount of sugar, they are very high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and water. Eating an apple generates saliva production in the mouth, which can help flush out food particles and bacteria after meals. The coarse texture of the fruit also helps stimulate gums. Apples make a good choice for dessert or a day time snack.
For More Information
Your family should receive routine dental checkups every six months. Your Little Rock family dentist will discuss eating habits with you and help with plans for keeping teeth and gums healthy. To schedule your next dental visit, contact Arkansas Family Dental at (501) 683-8886.