The average American spent nearly $700 on dental care in 2013, and this amount has likely increased in the years since.
Simply put, dental work is expensive, and major dental procedures are best avoided if possible. We’ve all heard the brushing and flossing lecture, and most of us are sick of it by now.
However, there are a lot of oral health tricks that your dentist probably never told you. Did you know that some foods can benefit your teeth?
It’s not just one or two foods that are good for your mouth, either. There are a lot, and we’ll talk about some of them in this article.
Cheese is a veritable superfood when it comes to oral health. In addition to having little sugar or acid, cheese also helps fight tooth decay and contributes to dental health in other ways.
As a dairy product, cheese includes calcium and protein, which are ingredients the body needs to build stronger bones and muscles.
However, cheese isn’t so great in other aspects. It tends to be high in sodium and fat, which can be hazardous to your health if you eat too much of it.
Eating cheese is a balancing act. You have to figure out what’s a good amount for you.
2. Raw Apples
We’ve all heard the old saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ This adage has gone through a few variations, the earliest of which probably came from Wales.
It may also have a slightly different meaning than what we’ve been led to believe. A few centuries ago, the word ‘apple’ was sort of like ‘Kleenex’ is now. Round fruits of various types were known as apples, even though most of them weren’t apples.
The popular meaning of apples later narrowed to include only true apples, but the meaning of the phrase stayed largely the same.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it certainly helps with the dentist. Apples contain fiber, which helps regulate our digestive system. It’s also somewhat rougher than other foods such as cheese or yogurt.
The coarse surface of the apple acts like a lint roller or spider’s web. It catches plaque, food, and other things on your teeth, and scrapes them away.
The act of chewing also brings saliva into our mouths, which also helps to wash our teeth. Apples are still no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they certainly help.
Yogurt contains calcium and protein. It’s also a good source of probiotics, which are types of bacteria and yeast that live in our bodies and help us with many functions, including helping us fight off harmful bacteria.
It’s important to note that many types of yogurt have sugar added to them. This can be a serious problem, not just for teeth but other aspects of health as well.
Eating too much sugar over a lifetime can harm our heart, lungs, teeth, and gums. The good news is that there are yogurts that don’t contain sugar. This way, you get all of the health benefits without as many risks.
Celery was probably one of the foods you hated growing up. Most of us did.
In adulthood, however, many of us don’t mind them so much. We may have grown to like them over the years.
Celery is a crunchy vegetable that’s high in vitamins A and C. Its texture is also helpful.
The crunchiness of celery means we need more saliva to eat it, and we’ve already mentioned why that’s helpful. Plus, each bite of celery causes fibers on the surface to come loose for some reason.
These celery strings and its signature crunch also help to clean our teeth. Similar to an apple, celery acts as an abrasive, scrubbing harmful substances off of our teeth as we chew.
5. Lean Meat
Don’t think you have to be vegetarian just to have healthy teeth. There are plenty of meats that can be great for your teeth.
The trick is to choose lean meats over fatty meat. It can be hard to distinguish lean meats if you don’t know what to look for.
Among beef and pork, loins and rounds are some of the leanest cuts. Meanwhile, steaks and ground beef should be avoided.
Among poultry, such as chicken and turkey, white meat should be chosen over dark meat. Eggs are also considered lean, though they do push the boundaries of what we consider meat.
If you’re a fan of seafood, then you’re in luck. Seafood also counts as lean meat and has many of the same benefits as other lean meats.
Keep in mind that seafood also contains mercury, which can be dangerous if you eat enough of it.
Lean meats of various kinds contain nutrients that perform many functions. Some of their ingredients fight plaque, while others protect enamel. Still, others help us use calcium more efficiently so our bones get stronger.
It’s important to practice good oral health, but there’s more to it than just brushing and flossing every day. Your diet also plays a role in how healthy your teeth are because many foods contain nutrients that protect and maintain teeth and gums.
We’ve mentioned some of these foods in this article, but there’s plenty more to look into. We encourage you to do more research on your own to ensure that you have a healthy, balanced diet.
For more information on oral health and dentistry please visit our site. If you need a good dentist feel free to contact us.