Tooth be told (pun definitely intended!), when it comes to dental care, we often think of the basics—brushing, flossing, and those regular dentist visits. And of course, we’re all familiar with the usual suspects that aren’t so friendly to our pearly whites—ahem—sugar and coffee.
“A poor diet can affect our teeth and gum health as well as our smile” says Hollywood’s favorite cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands. Dr. Sands is the man behind the smiles of celebrities including Winnie Harlow, Miley Cyrus, and more.
“Foods and beverages can also cause our teeth to become stained, our gums to recede, bacteria to form, and even gum disease,” he adds. “Many types of food will erode our natural protection, the enamel layers, and make teeth weak and more susceptible to decay.”
Yikes. No thanks.
But what about the foods that actually benefit our teeth? They’ve gotta be out there, right?
Right. Today, Dr. Sands is here to talk to us about a few of those foods.
Six foods that are good for your teeth:
“Because apples are hard and fibrous, they help prevent plaque buildup. They also contain malic acid, which breaks down plaque,” Dr. Sands says.
2. Plain yogurt or cheese
“Dairy is low in sugar and high in calcium, which is good for teeth,” Dr. Sands explains. “Dairy also makes extra saliva which helps keep the plaque buildup at bay.”
Think: spinach and kale. “These are rich in vitamins A and C, which help improve gum health and fight off bacteria,” Dr. Sands says. “They are also a great source of calcium, folic acid, and other minerals that your teeth and gums love. Plus, they act like scrubbers fighting against plaque.”
The calcium, vitamin D, and polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3’s found in fish like salmon and mackerel “are effective in fighting off periodontitis” according to Dr. Sands.
5. Some nuts, specifically Brazil, almonds, peanuts, cashews and walnuts
“They each have a range of vitamins and minerals,” says Dr. Sands. “Some provide calcium, and others stimulate saliva. Peanuts are high in calcium. Cashews, in particular, contain fiber, iron, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6 and potassium.”
6. And last, but certainly not least, water
Sure, technically not a food, but Dr. Sands says that just drinking more water can stop plaque buildup and protect your tooth enamel. “Fluoridated water fortifies the teeth and supports both calcium and phosphorus. It boosts enamel strength and helps to prevent decay,” he says.
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