Since we just finished the holidays, you probably saw Elf at least once. So, Dr. Fong wants to know — Is your diet somewhat like Buddy the Elf? All about sugar and dessert, and little about nuts or vegetables? Probably a bit of an exaggeration, but while most of us know too much sugar is bad for our teeth…and our overall diet…we maybe don’t know that there are certain foods that are good for our teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) wants to help you not totally abuse your teeth. So, they put together this little list of seven foods that your teeth love. Dr. Fong shares it with you.
Carrots are crunchy and when you eat a few baby carrots at the end of a meal your saliva production increases. Why is saliva good? Saliva rinses away bacteria and leftover food particles. Plus carrots are high in fiber and a great source of vitamin A. Your eyes will thank you for them, too!
Of course, an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. Maybe the dentist, too (although you could still come see Dr. Fong just to chat or show us new pictures of your cat). While fruits such as apples are sweet, they’re also high in fiber and water. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Think of it as a good scrubbing of your teeth and gums.
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. The probiotics (good bacteria) in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowds out the bad bacteria. It’s best to have yogurt without added sugar.
Most people wouldn’t associate cheese with tooth health, but it is. A study in 2013 published in General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese also increases saliva production, which, as mentioned above, is bueno. Cheese also contains lots of calcium and protein, both of which strengthen tooth enamel.
Leafy greens seemingly are on every healthy diet list, kind of like Ladybird on every Best Picture list. While they are full of great minerals and vitamins for your overall health, leafy greens also are good for your teeth. They’re high in calcium for your enamel. They contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including helping pregnant women avoid gum disease.
Celery needs a new publicist. It has the reputation for being bland and stringy. But, like carrots and apples, it’s kind of like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It also has lots of vitamin A and C, which is good for your pink friends, the gums. Maybe it merits a star on the Walk of Fame!
Almonds are a great source for calcium and protein and have little sugar. Plus, they’re great at filling you up. Add a quarter cup to lunch and throw some on your salad at dinner.
If you make these foods a bigger part in your daily diet you can go ahead and have the occasional Buddy the Elf splurge! Even when it’s not the holidays! Is it time for your regular exam and professional cleaning with Dr. Fong? Call us at (714) 549-1903 to schedule your appointment.