Now that the holidays are, unfortunately, behind us, you probably saw Elf once or twice. Did you find yourself watching Will Ferrell making those meals with Captain Crunch topped with syrup, candy corn, chocolate sauce, etc. and think, “Hey, that looks pretty tasty.”
OK, not to that degree, but if you opt for a Dr. Pepper and Snickers Bar every afternoon at 3, you get the idea.
Your teeth want to have a little chat, with a little help from the American Dental Association (ADA). Everyone is probably guilty of eating a few too many sweets and slurping a few too many sugary sodas. Sure they taste yummy but they also lead to decay in your teeth, and we all know what decay leads to. The ADA wants to help you not totally abuse your teeth. So, they put together this little list of seven foods that your teeth love. And seeing how we love healthy teeth at Gentle Dental, we’ll share the list with you.
Carrots are crunchy and when you eat a few baby carrots at the end of a meal your saliva production increases. Why is saliva good? Saliva rinses away bacteria and leftover food particles. Plus carrots are high in fiber and a great source of vitamin A. Your eyes will thank you for them, too!
Of course, an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. Maybe the dentist, too (although you could still come see the crew at Gentle Dental just to chat or show us new pictures of your cat). While fruits such as apples are sweet, they’re also high in fiber and water. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Think of it as a good scrubbing of your teeth and gums.
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. The probiotics (good bacteria) in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowds out the bad bacteria. It’s best to have yogurt without added sugar.
Most people wouldn’t associate cheese with tooth health, but it is. A study in 2013 published in General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese also increases saliva production, which, as mentioned above, is bueno. Cheese also contains lots of calcium and protein, both of which strengthen tooth enamel.
Leafy greens seemingly are on every healthy diet list, kind of like Jennifer Aniston on every gorgeous actress list. While they are full of great minerals and vitamins for your overall health, leafy greens also are good for your teeth. They’re high in calcium for your enamel. They contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including helping pregnant women avoid gum disease.
Celery needs a new publicist. It has the reputation for being bland and stringy. But, like carrots and apples, it’s kind of like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It also has lots of vitamin A and C, which is good for your pink friends, the gums.
Almonds are a great source for calcium and protein and have little sugar. Plus, they’re great at filling you up. Add a quarter cup to lunch and throw some on your salad at dinner.
OK, so maybe substitute a few of these items for that Chocodile now and then? And when it’s time for your regular exam and cleanings at Gentle Dental, please give us a call in our Edison offices, (732) 549-5660.