Healthy Foods for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Right now we are all concerned about our own health and the health of our families. While we are all following recommended guidelines about hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, etc, in order to protect ourselves and our community from the current health crisis, we should also be thinking about how we can promote and protect the health of our families and community beyond the present pandemic…so I imagine that everyone is asking the question (or at least should be asking the question): what ELSE can I do to protect and promote my health?
So glad you asked!
We all know the old adage: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But is that really true? Of course not. Apples do not prevent sickness in and of themselves. But I think we all understand that apples are not the point of the saying. The whole point is that what we put into our body affects how healthy our body is, right? Yes!
Ok. So, what does that have to do with periodontics? Well, for starters, one of the primary ways that bacteria and viruses enter your body IS THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. Stop and think about that for a minute. If washing your hands is a primary way of preventing bacteria and viruses from entering your body, then having a clean and healthy mouth is much the same. It should almost go without saying that if the primary entry points (i.e. nose, mouth, eyes, skin) for pathogens are protected, clean and healthy, then you reduce the risk of those pathogens surviving and thriving in your body.
Let’s talk then about an easy way to promote healthy teeth and gums as one of the first lines of defense against the pathogens that are fighting to take up residence in our bodies. An easy way to promote and protect healthy teeth and gums – thereby promoting holistic health – is to EAT THE RIGHT FOODS.
What foods promote healthy teeth and gums?
Surprisingly, it’s nothing crazy. You don’t have to make homemade celery juice with turmeric and kale (thought that would be really healthy for your digestion!) or source some exotic herb from a specialty grocery store in Highland Park. Some of the healthiest foods and drinks for your teeth and gums are easy to find, easy to eat and actually taste good. So what are they?
Cheese is rich in calcium, but it also contains a protein that actually stabilizes and repairs the enamel of your teeth. Cool, huh? But just be careful not to choose over-processed cheese (Velveeta and Cheez Whiz do NOT count as cheese). Cheeses such as brie, cheddar, Swiss, Gouda and other similar ones are your best bets.
It’d be hard to overstate the health benefits of leafy greens in your diet. Leafy greens are rich in fiber, which means that eating spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, and other similar veggies, promotes the production of saliva that cleans and rinses your teeth while also neutralizing acid (which can damage your teeth).
Really? Yes, really. Green tea is a great option for promoting and protecting the health of your teeth and gums. Green tea contains flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory benefits. Since gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, regularly drinking green tea (without any additives) can help prevent and reduce gum inflammation which helps reduce the risk of gum disease. And in case you weren’t sure, the green tea beverages at Starbucks do NOT count as green tea.
Of course, if you’re really serious about promoting and protecting the health of your teeth and gums as a part of holistic, healthy living, then we recommend scheduling an appointment at our office. Routine, professional periodontal care is absolutely essential to optimal health. Don’t neglect your health or the health of your loved ones!
Health is too valuable to take for granted.
Call us today to schedule your next appointment.
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