5 Foods That Promote Oral Health

If you have a tooth damaged by decay, restorative services like fillings and crowns can help repair your tooth. You can further promote your oral health by establishing good oral care routines at home, such as brushing twice a day for a full two minutes and flossing daily.

Did you know that what you eat also impacts your oral health? Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Roberto Palmieri knows there’s a lot of power in education. That’s why we’ve created this guide to share the top five foods that promote oral health.

1. Cheese

It may surprise you to learn that eating a piece of cheese after a meal can help prevent cavities. That’s because cheese adjusts the pH level in your mouth to a level that’s not ideal for decay-causing bacteria. 

Having a low pH level can increase your risk for tooth erosion, according to studies, and eating a piece of cheese can remedy that. Cheese (and other dairy products) are rich in protein and calcium, two important nutrients for your overall oral health.

2. Lean protein

Protein might not be your first guess for “tooth-friendly foods” but protein contains many beneficial nutrients. According to the American Dental Association, lean protein sources contain phosphorus, and this mineral supports oral health by strengthening your enamel. 

Consider adding fish, milk, eggs, chicken, and cuts of beef to your weekly meal plans. Wild salmon is a particularly good choice because it contains vitamin D, which helps your body absorb enamel-strengthening calcium. 

3. Spinach and kale

Eating your greens is important for your overall health, but eating fibrous greens like kale also improves your oral health. 

Fiber-rich foods require a lot of chewing, and the more you chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva is a great defense against tooth decay because it helps wash away the bacteria that cause cavities. 

Additionally, spinach and kale are great low-carb alternatives to add to your dinner plate. 

4. Raw carrots

Just like spinach and kale, raw carrots require a lot of chewing. Crunchy, raw veggies, including carrots and celery, help to remove plaque from the teeth, produce saliva, and freshen your breath.

5. Water

Technically water isn’t a food, but this beverage is the most mouth-friendly drink option. The fluoride in fluoridated water can help prevent cavities from developing, but that’s not the only benefit of drinking water.

Water supports oral health by:

Additionally, rinsing your mouth with water after eating a meal that can stain your teeth (e.g., curry sauce or tomato sauce) can help reduce stains from developing.

Tip: If you struggle to drink the daily recommendation of water, try adding fresh herbs like basil or mint to your water for a refreshing treat. This is a great alternative to sugary sodas.

What not to eat

Not all foods are mouth-friendly. Certain foods are more destructive when it comes to your oral health. High-sugar foods, processed foods, carb-heavy snacks, and sugary drinks can negatively impact your oral health. 

The bacteria that cause cavities feed off excess sugar and secrete damaging acids that eat away at your enamel. Sticky treats, like taffy or toffee, can also damage dental appliances, such as spacers and bridges.

The bottom line: A diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh produce is good for your overall health and your oral health.

Diet is just part of the equation

Even if you follow a perfect diet, it’s still essential to keep your routine dental appointments. At Palmieri Dentistry, we’re here to help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. 

Whether you need to schedule a cleaning or explore your cosmetic options, give us a call at our Mooresville, North Carolina, office to book your appointment.

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