The experts at Precision Nutrition recently put together a great guide highlighting the best foods and nutrition practices for healthy teeth that can be used to start the discussion with your patients. Among the foods, nutrients and supplements they suggest, the following stood out as the best in the bunch:
Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host, when administered in adequate amounts. These foods are primarily found in fermented dairy products such as yogurts and certain cheeses, but can also be found in some non-dairy items such as sauerkraut, soy sauce and pickles. The bacteria in fermented foods are thought to suppress the growth of pathogens in the oral cavity; probiotics may also help to decrease gingivitis and plaque.
According to Precision Nutrition, ?Cranberries and other plant foods rich in anthocyanins (such as blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant peel, black rice, and raspberries) may prevent the attachment and colonization of pathogens on host tissues (including teeth).? That seems like reason enough for us!
Green tea is rich in fluoride and known to reduce bacteria and toxicity in the mouth.
Arginine is an amino acid that may alter oral pH levels and reduce chances of a cavity. Arginine can be found in many types of lean poultry, dairy, seafood, whole grains and nuts. Common sources include:
- cottage cheese
- turkey (light meat only)
- seafood (lobster, salmon, shrimp, halibut, tuna)
- wheat germ and flour
- nuts (coconut, pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pinenuts)
- seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)
- cooked soybeans
Raw Fruits and Veggies
Precision Nutrition explains. ?Raw veggies clean your teeth to a degree (apples, carrots, bell peppers, etc). Eating an apple as dessert after lunch will help to remove material that has adhered to the surface of your teeth. Plus, apples contain naturally occurring xylitol.?
These foods shouldn?t be viewed as a checklist necessary for a healthy smile, but rather as a guide to help patients choose the healthy options that are right for them. In general, they should eat lots of fresh vegetables and lean protein while avoiding processed foods and sugars.
Speaking from the dental professional's perspective, what other foods do you think should be added to this list?