You have heard since childhood that eating too many sugary sweets will give you cavities. As an adult, you might even be aware that simple carbs, dried fruit, and acidic foods can all lead to the formation of cavities. What you may not know, though, is that you can be proactive in what you eat, and consume foods that actually prevent cavities instead of just avoiding foods. Read on- we’ve got the scoop on eating foods that are good for your teeth.
If you think about the human body, it’s pretty amazing, in the ways it heals itself. Our immune systems rush to repair damage caused by a wound or injury, which is remarkable. Did you know that the mouth can heal itself, too? Saliva helps remineralize your teeth and stop tooth decay in the early stages. However, as with other part of the body, the mouth’s healing process requires the support of the right vitamins and minerals. To heal cavities before they take hold, eat foods rich in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K2
Do you know how cavities form? It’s a complex process, and can take days, weeks, or even months. First, plaque forms when bacteria and food particles coat the surface of the tooth and are allowed to remain there. Plaque buildup increases as the plaque is fed by carbohydrates like sugars or bread, and as this happens, the plaque excretes acids that wear away at the tooth. If this is allowed to continue, the acid results in cavities, which are holes in the teeth. Once you have cavities, it makes it easier to spread infection and harder to maintain dental hygiene, creating a vicious cycle. That’s why it’s so important to fill your diet with foods that counteract cavities.
Foods that Help Prevent Cavities
While simple starches fuel cavity-causing bacteria, certain foods and drinks strengthen your teeth and lower the risk of cavities by reducing unhealthy bacteria in your mouth. Eggs and dairy provide vitamin D, and yogurt boosts immunity with probiotics. Another benefit of dairy foods, like milk, cheese, and yogurt, is that they’re rich in calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth. Other calcium rich foods include canned sardines and salmon (with edible bones), almonds, leafy greens, broccoli, seeds, beans and lentils, rhubarb, figs, and amaranth. Vitamin K2 helps the body move calcium from the bloodstream to bones and teeth, and this nutrient can be found in beef or chicken liver, chicken breast, butter, sauerkraut, ground beef, and salami. Beans are rich in phosphate, which helps remineralize teeth, and another nutrient that helps with this process is potassium, found in avocados. The magnesium you need to support healthy teeth is found in leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, quinoa, soy, tofu, and avocado, and blackstrap molasses. Sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin A, which promotes salivary function and balances oral pH and reduces cavity-causing bacteria. Tea also reduces harmful bacteria and drinking it can prevent cavities, but it’s also important to drink plenty of water, to rinse debris from your teeth throughout the day.
Providing Support to Your Teeth
Remineralizing your teeth requires preventing tooth decay from disrupting the natural remineralization process. In addition to a healthy diet, there are some other best practices that can help:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Using gentle circles angled at your gums, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to help remove harmful bacteria from your teeth.
- Floss at least once a day. Floss with string floss or use an irrigator. Better yet, use both, to reduce double the plaque buildup.
- Use good toothpaste. High-quality fluoride toothpaste, approved by the American Dental Association (ADA), can help with remineralization.
- See your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist twice a year for a deep cleaning and an exam can help catch oral health issues before they become problems.
Partner with Park 56 to Protect Your Teeth
If you’re looking for a dentist in New York, why not choose the dentist voted best in the city? At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
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