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      Chew on this: Best and worst foods for oral health
      08/21/2020 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
      Chew on this: Best and worst foods for oral health

      Regular brushing and flossing can help get rid of sugars and food particles lodged?in-between your teeth?that can cause plaque. If left unchecked, plaque can damage delicate tooth enamel later on. This can lead to cavities and set the stage for gum disease, gingivitis and other oral diseases.

      But according to experts, nutrition?plays a big role in determining oral health. Just as some foods can erode teeth, others can protect them. Before you head out to the supermarket, take a look at some of the best and worst foods for oral health.

      Best foods for oral health

      Some foods are good at neutralizing oral bacteria, eliminating tooth stains and protecting against plaque. It also doesn’t hurt that most of them are superfoods. Eat them as part of a balanced diet to make the most of their nutrient content and oral health benefits.

      Eggs

      Nutrient-rich eggs contain high amounts of calcium, an essential mineral for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Eggs also boast considerable amounts of vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin,” that promotes calcium absorption.

      Yogurt

      Yogurt is another calcium- and protein-rich food that can help strengthen tooth enamel. Recent studies also?show that the beneficial microbes in yogurt — called probiotics — help neutralize harmful, odor-causing oral bacteria that can erode tooth enamel.

      Salad greens

      It’s no secret that salad greens like spinach and broccoli are good for our health. Their high calcium and folate content contributes to optimal oral health.?These salad?greens also contain beneficial compounds that can?kill bad bacteria in the mouth.

      Crunchy?fruits and vegetables

      Munching on crunchy vegetables like celery, cucumber, carrots and snap peas can help scrape off plaque?and stains on the surface of teeth. And thanks to their hard texture, these vegetables?do?not to stain teeth despite their bright color.

      Green and black tea

      Green tea and black tea are rich in antioxidants and other compounds that?can help eliminate harmful oral bacteria. Recent studies also show that both?types of tea can help prevent plaque buildup and keep our breath smelling fresh.

      Nuts

      Besides being healthy snacks, nuts are a great choice for maintaining optimal oral health. Peanuts, almonds and pistachios?contain omega-3 fatty acids that help protect the teeth against bacteria that cause tooth decay.

      Water

      More often than not, the best defense against stains, bad breath, cavities and oral diseases is a tall glass of water. Make sure to drink water after every meal or snack to keep sugars and odor-causing bacteria from lingering in your mouth.

      Foods that rot teeth

      It’s not enough to practice good oral hygiene and healthy eating. You should also make it a point to avoid or cut back on certain foods that can harm your teeth and gums. Here are five of the most common culprits behind oral problems and diseases:

      1. Candies?– There should be no surprise here, as candies are chock-full of sugar and nothing more.?Nutritionists?say that candies contain different acids that are tough on our teeth. The stickiness of candies also makes them more likely to stick around – literally! If left unchecked, these sugars can rot the teeth over time and lead to poor oral health.
      2. Soda?– Soda and other sugar-laden drinks are just as bad as candies. They’re not only damaging to our teeth, they’re also detrimental to our health. Plus, the carbonation process that?makes them fizzy also?amplifies the harmful effects of sugar on?our teeth, so drinking a lot of these beverages can easily cause cavities.
      3. Bread?–?The starch in foods made from refined grains, such as white bread, white rice and store-bought pasta, also spell bad news for our teeth. Refined grains are broken down into sugar much faster than whole grains. The result? More sugar?sticking to plague out teeth!
      4. Potato chips?–?Potato chips also pose similar problems for oral health as bread because of their high starch content. Enzymes in the mouth convert this starch into acid, which can easily rot teeth.
      5. Coffee?–?If consumed in moderation, coffee offers a number of health benefits. But?besides the fact that coffee can stain our teeth, it can also have a dehydrating effect on the mouth. A dry mouth encourages the?growth of odor-causing bacteria. So if you must drink coffee, make sure to down a tall glass of water afterward.

      Oral health is just as important as heart health and brain health. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth regularly and flossing at least once a day. You should also start eating more foods?that support oral health and cut back on foods that do the opposite.

      Sources:

      EatRight.org

      EatThis.com

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      100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
      Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
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