SaludToday Guest Blogger
Jefferson Dental Care
In the mouth of the average Latino adult, you will find eight decayed, filled or missing teeth—but you may not find enough yogurt or leafy greens.
Eating vitamin-packed foods, like those, can fight cavities.
Putting the right foods in your mouth also can reduce plaque, support oral health, and boost overall health (even if they can’t heal existing cavities).
Here’s our guide for picking foods to give your mouth a healthy boost.
1. Cheese is supercharged with calcium and phosphorus, which supports absorption of calcium, and vitamins D and K. In a 2013 study in the Journal of General Dentistry, researchers found that consuming cheddar cheese is effective at fighting cavities by raising the pH level inside the mouth.
2. Yogurt has probiotic properties that actually battle cavity-causing bacteria, studies have shown. Yogurt commonly contains lactobacillus or bifidus, good bacteria that are believed to reduce the numbers of bad bacteria in saliva.
Beef and Eggs
3. Beef provides vitamins B3 and B12 as well as phosphorous, calcium and Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant believed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up. Remember to floss after eating beef to make sure no meat is stuck between teeth.
4. Eggs are surprisingly good for teeth as they contain vitamins D and K, and phosphorus.
5. Salmon, and other fatty fish, are well-known sources of vitamin D and calcium. In 2010, the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health published a study which found that polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3s) found in fatty fish were effective in the treatment of periodontitis and act as an anti-inflammatory.
6. Sardines compete with salmon for being packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Sardines also deliver calcium and fluoride.
7. Anchovies have the same nutritional properties as salmon and sardines, but they also contain a variety of B vitamins and are notably low on mercury.
Leafy Greens and Cruciferous Vegetables
8. Kale, chard, spinach, collard greens, and other leafy greens may look like nothing more than a rabbit’s feast, but they really have it all. These dark greens deliver vitamins A and C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, which each support healthy teeth and gums.
9. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and all cruciferous vegetables are full of vitamin C and K, and phosphorus. Remember to steam them; roasting vegetables has been found to increase their acidity, which will eat away at tooth enamel.
10. Apple fibers and peelings scrub tooth surfaces as well as the tongue, which is why eating apples improves bad breath. The low level acidity also impairs cavity-causing bacteria.
11. Carrots, radishes, celery and other raw crunchy veggies act as a natural brush, scrubbing the teeth, and deliver vitamins A and C.
Healthy eating, coupled with proper oral hygiene habits and regular professional cleanings, can help prevent oral health issues.
Read more about proper oral care among Latinos:
- How Many of Us Really Brush Twice a Day?
- The Sad Reasons Latino Kids Delay Dentist Visits Until Age 16
- Floss is the Boss
For more dental care tips, visit givingsmiles.com.