Just like there are certain foods that are good for your organs, skin and immune system, there are foods that are good for your teeth and gums. In the main, health advice tends to focus on the foods that are bad for teeth, as opposed to those that can actively improve tooth and gum health. So, we thought we would address this gap in the content circulating out there in Google, championing the foods that your mouth will thank you for eating.
We don’t know about you, but we think cheese is one of the best and tastiest foods out there. As dentists, we particularly love it, because it’s great for your teeth, and other dairy products are also tooth-friendly, including milk, low-fat milk, and yoghurt.
We love dairy products because:
Dairy products like cheese are high in calcium, a mineral that teeth need to keep them strong and healthy. Calcium fortifies your tooth enamel, which can suffer when acids are created in your mouth, causing cavities. By remineralising your tooth enamel, cheese, milk and yoghurt can reduce the risk of decay and cavities.
They neutralise the pH level in your mouth
Keeping a healthy pH level in your mouth is vital, as a low pH level (characterised by a pH lower than 7), means your mouth is acid-rich, and therefore likely to damage your tooth enamel. The issue here is that once tooth enamel is worn, it won’t grow back, and this can cause symptoms like sensitivity and eventually cavities.
Studies have shown just how much of a tooth superfood cheese, is in particular. Cheese has been proven to have the ‘highest anti-cariogenic property among dairy products’. This is the same effect as fluoride toothpaste will have on your teeth (though we don’t recommend cheese as a substitute for fluoride toothpaste). You should be aiming to look for an anti-cariogenic diet and to use dental aids that act as an enamel shield.
If you’re looking to keep the calorie count down, low-fat milk is also tooth-healthy. Meanwhile, for our patients who don’t do dairy, we recommend almond or soy milk, both of which are fortified with extra minerals, to ensure they have similar (if not the same) nutritional value as cow’s milk.
Eating leafy greens and crunchy veg is a no-brainer for your diet: there isn’t really a downside to doing so!
Containing both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which work in tandem to improve gum health and tackle bacteria accumulation in the mouth, they’re beneficial in more ways than one. Greens like spinach and chicory are also vitamin D-rich, which means they’re good for the health of your jaw. The texture of leafy and crunchy greens also helps to ‘brush’ your teeth, not just removing bacteria – food like spinach in particular increases saliva production in your mouth, washing away food particles.
Vitamin D is an unsung hero in the dental universe. It’s been proven to stimulate the post-operative healing of periodontal tissues and reduces bone resorption (where your jawbone shrinks away).
Fatty fish has long been championed as a body-healthy food. It’s great for your skin, and nails, and contains heart-healthy fats.
But did you know it’s also great for your gums? Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna and salmon have anti-inflammatory benefits, which keep your teeth healthy by alleviating the symptoms associated with gum inflammation. Of course, it’s important to remember that fatty fish alone won’t alleviate oral health problems, so booking yourself in for a hygienist check-up if you notice your gums are sore is essential if you want to maintain good oral health, healthy teeth, and fend off gum disease.
Up to 85% of your body’s phosphorous is found in your teeth and bones, which goes to show how much of a role it plays in keeping your teeth strong. It’s a mineral that works at its optimal level when combined with calcium. The combination of phosphorus and calcium bolsters bone remodelling, with calcium using the aid of phosphorous to become absorbed by the body – a bit like how Vitamin C helps your system take in other healthy nutrients and minerals – the same formula is at play here.
Without phosphorous, you may find your teeth become more brittle, making them more prone to chipping and wear.
Foods high in phosphorous include turkey, seafood, nuts, chicken, pork and organ meats like liver.
If you’re going to indulge in the occasional bit of chocolate, the high cocoa percentage kind is what you want to reach for.
Containing less sugar than white and milk chocolate and containing plant-based antioxidants, dark chocolate has been shown to slow decay. Dark chocolate also contains tannins, which have molecules that bind to bacteria before plaque is allowed to form. However, it’s important to remember that tannins are teeth staining, so once you’ve finished your chocolatey treat, drink a large glass of still water to rinse your mouth.
Hopefully, this blog will give you a good start on how to implement teeth-healthy foods with high nutritional value into your diet. When you come in to see us for your routine hygienist and dentist appointments, we can give you diet-orientated advice on how to achieve healthier gums and teeth, and on the foods that will neutralise harmful acids and plaque buildup.Back to Blog
“Very good customer service with friendly and approachable staff at reception. The best dental clinic in London with professional dentists, giving you thorough examinations and…”
“Lovely practice. Irina is personable, caring and great at her job. The reception team are always so welcoming too. Highly recommend!”
“Great staff and amazing service they provide for their customers. My first visit to Dr Jafri was a great experience. He immediately puts you at…”
“Had a very satisfying service! Timings were perfect and they had a clean atmosphere. They did a detailed check and made sure I came out…”
“I had an issue with a cracked tooth which has been resolved quickly by the friendly staff at InnovaDent who booked me in on the…”