Healthy living has always been associated with eating fruits and vegetables. Summers give us an opportunity to enjoy lot of seasonal vegetables and fruits which are known to promote good dental health, so one must include them in their daily diet. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in these foods protect teeth and also possess natural teeth whitening agent.
Strawberries are powerful teeth whiteners that contain both an astringent and Vitamin C. The astringent in strawberries effectively aids in the removal of surface stains while Vitamin C whitens teeth by clearing away plaque.
An apple contains malic acid, a chemical used in teeth whitening products, which helps dissolve stains. Watermelon contains Vitamin C which also contributes to natural whitening action. Oranges, pineapples and cucumbers are also good source of Vitamin c and fibers that should be included in the diet .Therefore, we should try to consume as much of these fruits as possible.
Celery, carrots, apples and other crunchy foods are excellent at scraping away stuck on food and plaque. The hard bits of foods like celery, carrots, and apples get in between teeth and into tooth crevices and can help keep your mouth fresh between brushings. Crunchy fruits and vegetables also happen to be high in fibre, which means they take longer to chew and generate more saliva. Saliva is great for flushing the bacteria near the gum line, out of the mouth. Add these foods to your daily diet as snacks to help get rid of food particles between meals.
Gums are the most important part of oral cavity and it is impossible to have good dentition without healthy gums. Key to healthy gums is good diet and gum massages. Consume food that is rich in Vitamin C and use natural oils made of coconut, almond and olives for circular massages of gums.
If teeth are massaged weekly with orange/lemon peel, it adds on to an extra lustre to the teeth and in some cases can even whiten them
Enamel, the outer covering of the teeth gives the natural lustre to the teeth. Different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel. To make your teeth strong again you need to put some minerals back and try to restore what is lost and get the natural colour back. Any deficiency related discoloration is impossible to treat with any cosmetic treatment so prevention is the only option. Here, calcium and phosphorous comes into action. They are the building blocks of enamel. Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale) are rich in calcium, folic acid and lots of important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums love. Yogurt, cheese, seafood, tofu, almonds, pumpkin seeds are also good options to go with.
Vitamin D is crucial for your overall health, but it becomes more important if you want healthy teeth too. The main reason is that it helps your body to absorb calcium better. Sunlight is the best source of getting Vitamin D.
When it comes to the health benefits, antioxidants have almost a celebrity status. How do they help your mouth stay healthy? Antioxidants fight the bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease. They help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection. So include lots of apples, berries, grapes, raisins, nuts and beans in your diet.
Lastly, not to forget 10 to 12 glasses of water, everyday, is a must.
The Writer is Dr gunita singh BDS, MD Dentem