Fruit and Veggies More Matters Month
As we all know, the adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is known to boost immunity and lower the rate of gum disease. Healthy gums are vital to our oral care in order to keep our teeth in place as we age. September is “Fruit and Veggies More Matters Month” and we at Roos Orthodontics have compiled this list of fruits and vegetables specifically aimed at supporting healthy teeth and gums through healthy eating.
Strawberries: Fresh strawberries contain malic acid (an astringent used in teeth whitening products) which helps remove surface discoloration of teeth; and vitamin C which can whiten teeth by clearing away plaque.
Apples: Although they can’t replace your toothbrush, biting and chewing on apples stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. This helps to reduce tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria, and to clean plaque from the roots naturally. Like strawberries, apples contain malic acid which can help to dissolve surface stains.
Bananas: Packed with vitamins, minerals and potassium, bananas are loaded with positive health benefits. The fruit does not stick to teeth and the inner part of the banana peel can be an inexpensive, non-abrasive and effective way to help whiten your teeth! (Take a piece of the inside of the banana peel and gently rub around on your teeth for about 2 minutes. The potassium, magnesium and manganese present in the peel absorb into your teeth and can help whiten them.)
Watermelons: This popular summer fruit is rich in Vitamin C as well as having anti-oxidant properties that help prevent cell damage and ensure healthy gums.
Oranges are the perfect choice for healthy gums and teeth as the citric acid present can help control acidity levels in your mouth, by encouraging saliva – the body’s own mouthwash.
Pineapples: The high levels of vitamin C as well as the enzyme bromelain, reduce plaque and help prevent gum disease. Because bromelain is an anti-inflammatory some recommend eating pineapple before or after an extraction. Just remember, don’t expose your teeth to acidic foods like pineapple for long periods of time!
Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, and their natural abrasiveness helps in eliminating dirt and plague from our teeth and gums. Be careful of your brackets when biting into these crunchy vegetables, if you are wearing braces!
Celery is an effective weapon against the bacteria inside the mouth. Stringy and made up of mostly water, it works well as a natural teeth cleaner, helping to clear out the grooves between the teeth, keeping them free of food and germs.
Garlic is believed to be a powerful ally when it comes to dealing with the pain associated with wisdom teeth coming in, abscessed teeth and tooth pain in general. Some people believe that tooth pain can be temporarily reduced by applying a peeled clove directly on the aching tooth, until you can get to a dentist to actually solve the problem!
When and how often you eat and drink certain foods and beverages affects your oral health. Bacteria in your mouth can damage your teeth, especially if you eat frequently without rinsing and brushing or you let food particles stay in your mouth. Protect your teeth by ending every meal with raw fruits and vegetables, because their high water content helps keep your teeth and gums clean. Practice healthy eating for healthy teeth and gums – and what better time to do so than in Fruit and Veggies More Matters Month!