Nutrition and Oral Health
People often say to “watch what you eat” to keep a healthy body. But what you eat doesn’t just affect your physical appearance; it also affects the health of your teeth and the freshness of your breath.
Food for Teeth and overall health
Eat healthy, natural foods that aren’t loaded with sugar and starches. Pre-packaged foods usually contain high amounts of these two troublemakers. And low/non-fat foods have fields of sugar – even those that aren’t thought of as “sweet”. This also goes for packaged drinks. Juices are often loaded with as much sugar as soda and sports drinks.
A few suggestions for things to eat for a healthy smile and good breath:
Cheese – Yes, some cheeses are stinky and leave a foul after-smell, but many of the yellow hard cheeses actually cleanse the mouth. They produce saliva that helps keep the cavity promoters at the door. And cheese contains calcium that helps keep teeth strong.
Plain club soda or seltzer – There is an ongoing debate as to whether the carbonation in water destroys tooth enamel. But more and more evidence is surfacing proving it doesn’t. Some do contain citric acid, and that is damaging, so don’t put it in your shopping cart.
Carrots – Many kids aren’t big on vegetables, but carrots are often an exception. They’re naturally sweet and crunchy, giving your teeth and jaw a healthy workout.
Unsweetened coconut water – Healthy in its own right, coconut water is tastier than plain water, and packs lots of potassium. Make certain to get a brand that does not have added sugar, many do.
Water – You just can’t go wrong with water. It naturally freshens breath and it has no mystery ingredients. Add some fruits for flavor, but steer away from lemon and other citrus fruits that are high in acid.
Nuts – Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and cashews get the saliva flowing which helps cleanse your mouth and it from becoming acidic – acid leads to the erosion of tooth enamel and decay. Look for dry-roasted or raw; the oil used for packaged nuts is often unhealthy and can contribute to not-so-fresh breath.
Lettuce Wrap – Roll some turkey, cucumber, and mustard in a big leaf of iceberg or romaine lettuce for a crunchy, healthy sandwich – free of starchy, sugary stick-to-your-teeth bread.
Apples – This fruit is an excellent breath freshener, and it helps clean the teeth as well. It’s like an edible toothbrush!