After you finish your dental cleaning, you hear the same mantra every time. “Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, floss once a day, and come back for your second cleaning in 6 months.” At this point you’ve got that info nailed into your brain. However, did you ever consider there were additional ways you could reduce your chance of getting gum disease?
Your dentist has a few tricks up his sleeve, particularly when it comes to the foods you eat. We know what foods to avoid, but what about foods that actually promote gum health? Keep reading to see what your dentist has in mind for your next meal.
The Most Delectable Vegetables for Gum Health
There are simply so many different kinds of vegetable to eat when it comes to improving your gum health. To make it simple, we’ll break down the benefits of each one below:
- Leafy Greens – At your next visit to the grocery store, pick out some dark leafy greens to include at dinner time. Leafy greens contain vitamin C, which boosts the production of red blood cells, therefore reducing inflammation in your body. Thanks to their high fiber content, your mouth creates more saliva, which in turn is great for your gums. You can also find vitamin C in bell peppers, regardless of the color.
- Onions – One of the most versatile vegetables out there, onions have natural microbial properties that target the most common bacteria tied to gum disease. Whether you’re roasting them in the oven or topping a salad, your gums will thank you for including more onions in your diet. Shiitake mushrooms also carry antibacterial attributes and fight against plaque-building bacteria.
How Fruits Are a Dream for Your Gums
When choosing fruits, look for ones that are crunchy and high and fiber, as this helps increase saliva production. Besides helping you taste foods, saliva works to flush your mouth of bacteria near the gum line. Try throwing some apples in your next salad or replacing your midday snack with a juicy apple to keep bacteria from infecting your gums.
Other fruits like oranges, kiwis, pineapple, and strawberries are full of vitamin C needed to reduce inflammation. Just remember to not consume too many acidic fruits as this can actually cause your enamel to wear down if not balanced properly.
Eat Dairy to Avoid Caries
Foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are great because of their high calcium content. Calcium is responsible for strengthening bones, but it can also be good for your gums thanks to a protein known as casein. This protein effectively neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.
Impress your dentist at your next appointment by telling them all about the foods you’re eating to improve your gum health. They’ll be happy to hear about it!
About the Author
Robert Long, DDS, graduated from The University of Health and Science Center at San Antonio to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1993. He eventually went on to complete his two-year General Practice Residency at University Hospital in San Antonio, where he received his IV sedation certification and gained extensive training in cosmetic, implant, and complex restorative dentistry. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (817) 645-2437 or visit his website.