Teeth are an integral part of the mouth and no doubt they should be looked after well. Since it is believed that most of the diseases start from the mouth, it is all the more necessary to take care of these pearly whites.
When children start eating, one should take utmost care of the food choices offered to them. Often the food a child eats determines his oral health and in some ways the overall health. Since most children tend to opt for sweet and starchy foods full of refined flour and sugar, it is important that parents make the right choices from the beginning.
Well, all of us are aware that fresh fruit and vegetables, less sugar and starches, dairy and poultry with a dash of essential oils help us towards the foundation of a well-balanced diet. But what about our teeth … Is the food children eat is teeth friendly? Indeed food has an important role in everyone’s life, but, care should be taken that the food is chosen and used wisely.
Here is a list of some foods which are good for the teeth and can be easily incorporated in our day to day meals, lunch boxes and as snacks:
1. Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But did you know that an apple a day keeps the cavities away! These are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Also, the fibre present in the skin of the fruit helps to cleanse the plaque present on the teeth, thereby acting as a breath freshener. The astringent property of the apple helps in clearing any stains present on the teeth.
2. Strawberries: Want shiny white teeth, then eat some strawberries. These contain malic acid which is a teeth whitener. This helps to remove the stains on the teeth. Also, the vitamin C of this fruit is a teeth whitener and helps remove the plaque.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables: Fresh green leafy vegetables have minerals and vitamins which help to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Spinach is high in fibre, folic acid and calcium.
4. Broccoli: Rich in folic acid and calcium, broccoli is not only healthy for the gums and teeth but also helps in whitening the teeth. Since it is high in iron it forms a protective covering on the enamel of the tooth. However, the secret to white teeth through broccoli lies in eating the florets.
5. Carrots: These are often referred to as nature’s toothbrush. The keratin in the carrots helps to keep the tooth decay at bay. These are crunchy and when combined with the saliva aid in cleaning the teeth, thus making an apt snack. Also, the water content of carrots helps to balance the sugar.
6. Yoghurt: Did you know that yoghurt is one of the best dental superfoods! High in calcium, it helps not only to strengthen the teeth but also helps in keeping the gums healthy. It fights bad breath by balancing the acids in the mouth. On eating yoghurt, the mouth’s pH levels are maintained. This leads to an environment where the bad bacteria cannot survive.
7. Milk and Cheese: These are very rich in calcium, phosphorus and casein. These along with strengthening the teeth, protect the enamel also. It is believed that eating cheese at the end of a meal, coats the teeth and neutralises the acids formed by certain harmful bacteria.
8. Eggs: By now we all know that how important calcium is for the teeth. Calcium helps to strengthen the teeth when absorbed properly. For proper absorption of calcium, vitamin D is necessary. Here is how eggs can help! Egg yolks are rich in vitamin D along with arginine. Eggs help in the easy absorption of calcium thereby maintaining that shine of the teeth.
10. Water: Well, water helps by flushing the bacteria and food particles. It also helps to maintain the saliva levels which happen to be a perfect defence mechanism. Saliva contains 95% water which prevents tooth decay by hindering the effects of the enamel-eating acids. Next time when you offer a sugary drink, or soda or a cola to your child swap it for water.
While your child munches on teeth friendly food, you still have to keep in mind that they brush twice a day, floss once a day and go for regular dental visits.