When it comes to proper dental health, did you know that there are several nutrition tips you can follow including eating these foods for a healthy mouth? According to many experts, your oral health is actually a picture of your overall health. Your mouth is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to fending off harmful bacteria. By not only brushing but also flossing your teeth, you can prevent harmful bacteria from developing and growing inside of your mouth and entering your body via the bloodstream. I'm sure by now you've got the brushing and flossing down, but good nutrition can do wonders for your mouth too! Take a look at the following delicious foods for a healthy mouth that you should eat today!
1. Lean Protein
When it comes to eating foods for a healthy mouth, adequate protein is essential! Protein builds the structure of your teeth, making protein consumption important not only throughout your life, but especially important during pregnancy as well! Try adding legumes like black beans, kidney beans or garbanzo beans in dishes like soups and salads or opt for fish and chicken which provide ample amounts of lean protein.
2. Dark Green Leafy Veggies
Did you know that there are other places to get dietary calcium other than in dairy? Green leafy veggies are a great source of calcium which helps strengthen the structure of your teeth. Since the majority of your calcium is stored in your teeth and bones, whenever you do not get enough calcium through your diet, calcium is stolen from the teeth and bones to carry out its role the body.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are very high in the mineral phosphorous which, along with calcium, helps protect and rebuild your tooth enamel. Phosphorous is responsible for the formation of not only your teeth but helps you build strong bones too! My favorite way to enjoy pumpkin seeds are in my morning oats or as a delicious salad topper at lunch or dinner!
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is just as important for oral health as it is for your vision. Vitamin A plays a large role in aiding in the removal of bacteria from your mouth by moving saliva efficiently around your mouth. Bacteria that finds its home and stays in your mouth will cause long-term damage like tooth decay and even periodontal disease. Other great sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes and spinach.
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C which is necessary for building and maintaining the collagen of your teeth. Along with vitamin C, oranges are also high in fiber and water which can help rinse and carry away food that might get stuck in and around your teeth causing decay. Inadequate vitamin C can lead to a condition called scurvy, which results in spongy and bleeding gums. Grab an orange for an afternoon snack today!
Along with many other things, walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid, an essential fat that your body can't produce. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and help remove harmful bacteria that are trapped within your teeth and gums. Get out of here Streptococcus mutans! Other sources of omega-3s include salmon, flax seeds and chia seeds.
7. Wild Caught Salmon
Not only great source of omega-3s, but wild caught salmon is also an excellent source of Vitamin D which is a great food to include for good oral health. Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium and phosphorous needed to build strong bones and teeth. Even with adequate calcium and phosphorous, your body can't do very much with Vitamin D. Try a salmon salad for lunch or throw a piece of salmon on the grill topped with a drizzle of honey and a dab of mustard for a delicious Honey Mustard Salmon.
By decreasing the amount of sugary beverages, sticky foods, candies and starchy snacks (like cookies and cakes) and increasing your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources and whole-grains you will be well on your way to a healthy mouth! Do you get enough of these oral health promoting foods in your diet? If not, which could you add in your diet today?