Just as eating whole grains, fresh fruits and crisp vegetables helps keep your body healthy, there are certain foods that aid both in fighting dental plaque and work to keep your teeth and gums in great condition.
- We all know the benefits of calcium but did you realize that calcium also protects the jaw bone and helps fight gum disease? Increase your intake of calcium rich foods like dark leafy greens, sardines, enriched cereals and whole grain breads along with nonfat or low-fat dairy products for the best benefits.
- Go for the crunch. Apples, celery, watermelon and cucumbers all contain a high water content which helps to counteract the sugars and acidity found in many of our other favorite foods.
- Vitamin D goes hand in hand with calcium in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Salmon and Atlantic mackerel are both excellent sources of vitamin D which is necessary to help your body absorb the calcium you are consuming. Collagen is an essential protein needed for good gum health and a great source of collagen comes from the vitamin C found in strawberries. It only takes a half cup of strawberries to provide more than 70 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.
- Like strawberries, the vitamin C found in oranges also works to keep your gums healthy but in a different way. Citrus vitamin C strengthens both the blood vessels and connective tissue that in turn holds the teeth in the jaw. It also decreases inflammation which can reduce or even prevent gingivitis. Everything is better in moderation, including citrus. The acids in citrus fruit can cause erosion of tooth enamel if eaten in daily large amounts, but an orange a day is just fine.
Eat healthy and include the above mentioned foods in your daily diet to help promote good oral health. Then make sure to see Dr. Ellis twice a year for a thorough cleaning and preventive checkup.