Michael Friedman, in an article for WebMD, writes:
“You know the fundamentals of good oral health: brushing in the morning and evening, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist twice a year.
However, there are incremental steps for optimal oral health, including the kinds and amount of food you eat.
Due to the interconnectivity of oral health and total health, it is just objective to consider the mouth as part of the body’s systemic whole.
Cellular function necessitates proper nutrition, and such requirement extend to the gums and teeth.
As much as proper food choices are beneficial to oral health, inadequate and poor nutrition aids in the sustainability of plaque-causing bacteria.
The contact of bacteria with sugar and carbohydrates causes an acidic reaction that releases harmful compounds that erode the enamel, thus commencing the decay process. Frequent snacking of unhealthful foods like sugary-rich products further exposes the teeth to the cycle of decay.
Here are ten superfoods that not only improve oral health, but are also proven valuable for the whole body:
#1 Celery, carrots, and apples
These crunchy foods are packed with water that stimulates saliva secretion when eaten. They are considered as dental detergents, stabilizing the production of cavity-causing streptococcus mutants. The food’s natural coarse texture acts as an abrasive that cleans between the teeth and massages the gums.
#2 Milk, yogurt, or cheese
Calcium staples such as fat-free or low-fat dairy products doesn’t add any saturated bulk to one’s diet. The acidic pH level that threatens the tooth enamel can be neutralized by eating hard cheese. Phosphate and calcium work to prevent gum diseases and cavities.
#3 Raw onions
When eaten fresh and uncooked, the natural antibacterial property and sulfur compounds of onions are preserved. Bacteria thriving in the oral cavity and its surrounding areas like the lips and throat can be potentially killed by chewing raw onion for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cashews are abundant with microbe-fighting properties that destroys the bacteria responsible for gum disease and tooth decay. The nut also has a skin-clarifying effect by fighting the bacteria responsible for acne development.
Tea contains polyphenol compounds that thwart the production of bacteria that causes gum diseases and cavities. Research showed that individuals who rinsed their mouths ten times a day with black tea had a lesser plaque calcification than people who just washed their mouths with water. What’s even more amazing is that black tea is also known to fight halitosis.
Innately sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose that increases plaque buildup. Certain
chemical compounds in raisins suppress the development of oral bacteria that destroy the tooth enamel.
#7 Sugarless gum
The key is to look for the “sugarless” variety. The act of chewing increases salivary flow that washes away and neutralize the acids that eventually causes dental erosion. The same increase in saliva production strengthens tooth enamel by carrying essential phosphate and calcium.
#8 Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds help build tooth enamel and dissolve plaque. The delicious seeds are also abundant with calcium, which keeps the health of the jawbone and teeth.
#9 Broccoli and shiitake mushroom
Broccoli contains iron that helps create a layer of acid resistant film on the surface of the teeth. Also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, and other nutrients, eating broccoli helps prevent cancer, including oral cancer.
Acknowledged for its lentinan content, shiitake mushrooms has natural antimicrobial properties that specifically kills the kind of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Swishing away residue from the teeth and trapped food with water is as effective as using a mouthwash. It promotes hydration while increasing saliva generation.
While it can be hard to give up on food cravings, practicing good oral hygiene may not require a person to stop eating acidic and sugary foods altogether. Eating in moderation, drinking water, and consuming such with other food types that neutralize mouth acids are helpful in preserving good oral health. With educated food choices, it is not impossible to maintain the radiance and prolonging the working condition of the teeth. Food is not just a fuel, nor just for sustenance. Food heals and nurtures.”
For more from Michael Friedman and WebMD, visit: