Our chompers are vitally important to our overall health as they allow us to chew and break down food in preparation for our digestive tract. Anyone who has had a toothache or undergone any dental work knows that unhealthy teeth can cause pain and inconvenience. By keeping our teeth in tip-top shape and eating foods that contribute to a healthy smile we can prevent problems over time and ensure we maintain good oral health practices.
Our teeth are made up of a variety of materials and are strong and capable of handling various textures of food. The hard, outer portion of our teeth is called enamel which is made of calcium phosphate. Similar to when a bone breaks, if damage to this layer of tooth structure happens, a dentist is likely to be required to fix it. Eating foods that are rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A and D can help to keep teeth strong and healthy, which is why making healthy choices in our food not only makes us feel better but also contributes to our oral health during our lifetime.
Here are some foods that specifically contribute to healthy teeth:
Cheese and Yogurt: Dairy products work to balance acidity levels in our mouth to avoid breakdown of enamel. The calcium nutrient that is found in dairy products helps to restore necessary minerals that can be lost in the tooth. The production of saliva, which has an enzyme called amylase, increases which helps control levels of acidity, protects gum disease and also helps with digestion.
Deep Green Leafy Vegetables: Fiber-rich leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain B vitamins such as folic acid, along with vitamins K. These vitamins are necessary to strengthen enamel.
Apples, Carrots, and Celery: These foods help to act as a natural toothbrush for your teeth and gums by increasing the production of saliva. They also contain vitamins A and C that boost immunity
Almonds and Salmon: Both almonds and salmon are rich in vitamin D which is critical for the body to be able to absorb other required nutrients that aid teeth, such as calcium.
Bad for your teeth
Sugar: One of the most damaging things to our teeth and oral health is sugar. A can of 330ml coke, for example, contains a whopping 35g of sugar. That’s around 9 teaspoons of sugar! Sugar acts as an acidity booster that breaks down enamel.
Remember to brush at least twice a day and always floss! Be mindful of the level of acidity within your body and how that can affect your oral health. Choose foods that neutralize the acid and at the same time increase saliva, such as the foods we’ve mentioned above. Look after your teeth and your teeth will look after you.