chewing-your-way-to-better-oral-healthStrong and healthy teeth have many benefits, especially if you’re a foodie. If you stay on top of your oral health, you can sink your teeth into chewy foods, such as a nicely cooked steak or a fresh hot pizza out of the oven. You can also enjoy treats like homemade pumpkin bars, candied nuts, or ice cream without pain. However, it’s a known fact that some foods, such as hard candies, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates, can harm the teeth as they can cause discoloration and tooth decay.

Due to poor dietary choices and lack of basic oral hygiene, it is estimated that 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 has at least one cavity. Cavities can lead to infection and other health problems, such as chronic inflammation, if left untreated. Visiting your dentist twice a year can help restore your teeth, but did you know that some foods can help prevent dental health problems from occurring? Evidence shows that some crunchy fruits and vegetables can benefit your teeth, so here’s what you need to know to chew your way to better oral health.

Veggies for Clean, Pearly Whites

Your diet can influence your dental health, so it only makes sense to be aware of your food consumption to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. You don’t need to follow a special meal plan to keep your teeth in good condition. Some foods, like crunchy vegetables, are proven to be good for overall well-being and effective in maintaining healthy teeth, so plan on adding these to your meals.

Firm and crunchy veggies that contain a lot of water, such as celery and carrots, are natural teeth cleaners because they encourage the flow of saliva, which can wash away food particles. The strings in celery can also help to gently scrub away bacteria and food from your teeth, which makes them perfect for teeth cleaning in a pinch after a meal. Moreover, celery and carrots contain essential nutrients such as Vitamins A and C, which can help to strengthen tooth enamel. Crunchy root crops such as radish and jicama can also help to build strong gums and keep your teeth clean and pearly white.

To prepare a crunchy veggie snack, cut celery and carrots into sticks or rounds and eat them raw. If you need a dip, choose a healthy one, such as an avocado or hummus dip, to add flavor to your veggie sticks. Meanwhile, jicama should be properly washed and peeled since the outer peel has a toxic compound. After peeling, cut into sticks or rounds and sprinkle with some salt and vinegar. To make radish into a tasty snack, slice them in halves, then serve with some herbed salt, butter, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Fruits for Strong and Sparkling Teeth

While fruits can be a healthier alternative to sweets and desserts, it’s essential to be mindful of their impact on dental health. Some fruits, particularly citrus ones like lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruit, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can lead to cavity formation, so it’s crucial to rinse your mouth with water after consuming these fruits to minimize their harmful effects.

Meanwhile, try munching on an apple if you need something crunchy and sweet that won’t harm your teeth. Like celery, its crisp texture and high water content stimulate saliva production to help keep your teeth free of harmful bacteria. Pears also benefit oral health since they’re crunchy and contain the same Vitamin C as some citrus fruits. However, pears aren’t as acidic as lemons or oranges, so they’re better for your teeth and gums. To prep apples and pears, wash them well and cut them into quarters. Eat them plain, or serve them chilled with a small cup of Greek yogurt for dipping.

Certain foods can help to keep your teeth and gums in optimal condition. Add these crisp and crunchy vegetables and fruits to your diet, and enjoy the benefits of having strong and healthy teeth. If you have oral health problems, consult your dentist for proper treatment and medication.

Smart Lifebites