7 Foods that Improve Dental and Overall Health
Give your body the fuel it needs to maintain healthy teeth.
Your body is full of intricate connections, some of which you may find surprising. For instance, did you know that good gut health has a significant impact on our body’s production of serotonin, the happiness chemical? We tend to connect something like happiness to the brain, but in reality, 90% of the serotonin in our bodies is created in the gut.
Gut health is also intricately connected to your oral health. That may be a bit more obvious than the connection between your gut and your mood, but the relationship between the two is deeper than you might think. Poor gut health can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and chronic bad breath, which is why you should aim to make healthy recipes and eat a holistic diet if you’re trying to avoid toothaches or other oral health issues.
To help you protect your whole-body and oral health, we’ve created this list of 7 foods that should be mainstays on your grocery list. Of course, you’ll also want to maintain a great oral hygiene routine and visit your family dentist regularly. But even a dentist may not be able to protect your smile if your diet is poor. So make sure to write these foods down and eat them as often as possible to maintain healthy teeth!
1. Leafy Greens
You probably could have guessed this one, right? Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, will make any list of foods you should be eating, but they are particularly helpful if you’re looking to improve your oral health.
Leafy greens promote the production of healthy bacteria (yes, healthy bacteria), which can reduce nitrites in your body and increase nitric oxide, which is good for your mouth and your heart. The minerals in leafy greens can also strengthen your teeth, which is good for avoiding pesky toothaches.
2. Dairy Products
Your body needs plenty of calcium, and foods like cheese and yogurt contain a ton of it while also being low in sugar. Sugar, of course, is the leading cause of tooth decay and has also been connected to a wide variety of whole-body health issues, including heart disease.
The calcium in dairy products helps fortify your teeth, while cheese and milk can reduce acidity in your mouth, further protecting your smile.
Apples are full of fiber, which helps clean your teeth and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Some of that bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria, can work to reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract, which is important because inflammation is connected to a vast array of health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer.
So maybe an apple a day does help keep the doctor away! Apples are also known to stimulate saliva production, and saliva is crucial for keeping your mouth clean and free of the excess food that can result in tooth decay.
The health benefits of salmon are pretty spectacular, and one of the more underrated among them is its ability to protect your teeth. Salmon has plenty of phosphorus, which is key for strengthening your tooth enamel, the protective layer of your teeth that helps you avoid a mouthful of cavities.
If you’re not exactly a fan of fish, there are a million and one healthy recipes starring salmon that can help you adjust it to your particular palate.
5. Garlic and Onions
Ironic as it may be, the two most notorious bad breath instigators are actually great for helping you keep your trips to the family dentist to a minimum.
On top of a lengthy list of other health benefits, garlic has antimicrobial properties that can help you avoid both tooth decay and gum disease, while onions have antibacterial properties that can do the very same.
Just make sure to brush after eating or keep a sugar-free breath mint handy.
You can’t spell nutrients without N-U-T, so it should come as no surprise that foods like almonds, cashews, and peanuts are loaded with crucial vitamins and minerals that promote whole-body health.
On top of tooth-protecting calcium and phosphorus, the amount of key nutrients you’ll find in these tasty natural snacks reads like a holistic diet checklist.
7. Whole Grains
This one is a bit of a trick of the trade. While there isn’t all that much in whole grains, like whole-wheat bread or brown rice, that promotes great oral health, they serve as a far better alternative to white bread or white rice, which are full of simple carbohydrates that tooth decay-causing bacteria in your mouth love to dine on.
In other words, if you want to keep carbohydrates in your diet, you’re better off sticking with the complex carbohydrates found in whole-grain foods.
Improve your overall and maintain healthy teeth with the right foods and habits.
In addition to implementing these foods into your diet, don’t forget to keep up with regular visits to your dentist. At these appointments, your dentist will provide you with the dental care you need and can help you set habitual and lifestyle goals so you can maintain your beautiful, white smile. For more information about intricacies of the mouth-body connection, give Dixon, Boles, and Associates a call or schedule an appointment online.