Monday, June 11, 2012

Which Foods and Drinks Are Beneficial to Your Oral Health?

Food is nutrition, and nutrition is necessary for good oral health, among other things. Like every other system in the body, the nutrition you bring into your body affects how well it performs, and how long it stays healthy. This includes your teeth, gums and mouth, and your oral health in general. You may not realize some foods are "mouth healthy", but some are.

What is Mouth Healthy in Your Home?

When selecting foods and drinks for maximizing your oral health, look for those that help to fight bacteria - the #1 bad organism that is in your mouth. Some foods can do it very well.

For example, enjoying cheese and other milk products, without adding sugar, is a great way to protect the enamel on your teeth. This outer layer of the teeth is the first to be destroyed by bacteria, but these dairy products help. They provide calcium and phosphorus that's necessary to bring minerals to the teeth. According to the WebMD website, making minerals available for teeth supports a natural process in which new minerals are deposited into tooth enamel after acids have removed them.

What Helps Improve Oral Health?

Some meats and most types of chicken will work to add minerals to your teeth in the same way dairy products work. Nuts, without a sugarcoating, offers similar benefit.

Other foods and drinks work in different ways. Eating crunchy or firm fruits, for example, can help to neutralize some of the effect of bad foods, like sugars. Apples, pears and crunchy vegetables have a high concentration of water within them, as such, they help to stimulate the mouth's natural production of saliva.

When it comes to finding something to drink that is good for your oral health, focus on water. Anything containing sugar is a bad idea and acidic drinks are right behind those sugary drinks, which are best left on your 'do not consume' list. Drinking unsweetened drinks, like tea, can also be helpful.

What about those sugar-free and sugar-substitute products? Avoid those that contain even natural sweeteners, unless afterward you plan to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth. Anything that is on the label ending with "-ose" is usually a poor choice, including sucrose and fructose.

In addition to these foods, eat an overall healthy diet of lean proteins, many types of vegetables and whole grains. These foods help you to keep your immune system working well. The immune system also contributes to your oral health because it fights off bacteria.

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