Your oral health plays an important role in your overall well-being. In fact, over 90 percent of systemic diseases have oral symptoms, such as mouth ulcers, first. Poor oral care can lead to problems with your heart and digestive system. Luckily, you can easily chew, and drink, your way to a healthier mouth and body.
Take Your Time
Chewing your food properly can make your mouth healthier. For instance, the act of chewing helps keep your jaw strong. Furthermore, when you chew, your mouth produces saliva which is helpful for removing food and bacteria from your mouth. This reduces the amount of plaque buildup and prevents tooth decay. In addition, it helps neutralize acids in your mouth and prevents enamel erosion.
The types of food you eat can also help give your mouth a workout. Crunchy foods such as pretzels, carrots, apples, and celery are good choices. Sugarless gum is another method to help your mouth produce more saliva.
Consume the Right Nutrients
A nutrient-rich diet helps promote healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few key nutrients to include in your diet:
- Protein: Protein is essential for maintaining tooth structure. It also helps the development of gum tissue. Chicken, edamame, and low fat dairy are good sources of lean protein.
- Probiotics: These live bacteria and yeasts are said to help decrease gingivitis and plaque. Probiotics are found in yogurt, supplements, and enriched foods.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin helps build up the collagen in your gums. As a result, your gums are less likely to suffer from periodontal disease. Kiwis contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C.
- Anthocyanins: Cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in anthocyanins, antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This can help reduce gum inflammation and disease.
- Calcium: Along with being a good source of protein, calcium is a key component of a mineral called hydroxyapatite that strengthens tooth enamel.
- Vitamin A: Foods that are rich in vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes and carrots, encourage tooth enamel formation.
After doing all that eating and chewing, you may be thirsty. However, choosing the right beverage is just as important as the food you consume. These drinks will promote a healthy mouth:
- Green Tea: This beverage contains polyphenols, abundant micronutrients that can prevent cancer and other diseases. It also reduces the bacteria in your mouth. In turn, this prevents bad breath, plaque, and gum disease.
- Water: Swapping out soda and fruit juice for water can make a world of difference for your teeth. After all, water is like nature's mouthwash for your teeth. It helps wash away sugars, acids, and food particles. In addition, most water from the tap, and even some bottled spring water, contains fluoride. By making teeth less vulnerable to acids in your mouth, fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Your diet is an important part of your oral health. However, proper brushing and flossing, along with general dentistry visits, are also key to healthy teeth and gums.