Nutrition is a biological need for survival, but how humans pursue the task vary greatly. Some people happily survive on grubs, others are self-proclaimed meat and potato fans and many follow a plant-based diet. Each diet has its advantages and disadvantages, however in regards to dental health, some meal plans make more sense than others.
What a person chooses to eat will have a strong influence on both oral health and general well being. Every person should strive to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and one that is low in processed foods and saturated fat. For those individuals focused on eating their way to better teeth, there are certain foods that will boost dental health and lower the chances of developing dental problems including gum disease, cavities and other woes.
America is a fast food nation and some estimates suggest that the average individual consumes 159 fast food meals a year. Although those meals can curb hunger, they tend to be filled with empty calories, fat, sodium and very little nutrition. Individuals looking to improve their oral health and maintain white teeth should make a conscious decision to cut down on junk food, and instead eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acid.
Harvard University scientists have conducted researching showing that the right polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have anti-inflammatory properties. A diet rich in those compounds can aid both dental treatments and lower the risk of developing periodontal disease. The scientists analyzed both the eating habits and gum disease levels of around 9,200 adults over the age of twenty. Participants were divided into three groups based on Omega 3 consumption. Those who had diets higher in the substance 30 percent decreased odds of developing gum disease.
Fish oil is thought to be the richest sources of the vital nutrient and experts recommend eating salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, snapper or scallops twice a week to get the best dental health boost. Non-fish eaters also have plenty of options for getting Omega-3 including soybeans and tofu (not highly processed soy products), flaxseed and walnuts. Supermarket shelves are brimming with pastas, milks, juices, yogurts and other foods that contain the compound, but the effectiveness of these foods in regards to dental health is still t/b/d.
Chocolate is one of the nation's favorite treats and estimates suggest that 50 percent of Americans choose this flavor above all others. This passion for chocolate has encouraged consumers to gobble 10 to 12 pounds of the treat annually. The higher the cocoa content, the healthier the snack and studies have shown that dark chocolate featuring 60 to 80 percent cocoa content packs a powerful dental health punch.
One study conducted by a Tulane University doctoral candidate found that pure cocoa extract has a similar structure to caffeine. Caffeine can strengthen tooth enamel and lower the chances of developing tooth decay. (Foxnews.com). Other studies have found that the tannins and cocoa butter in chocolate can prevent the formation of cavities as those ingredients will coat teeth with a protective layer.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states tooth decay and cavities the nationâ€™s worst childhood epidemic. Luckily fresh fruit is an abundant and affordable way to curb the trend. Fruits such as apples and pears are packed with natural goodness including water and fiber. The high water content can dilute the sugars an increase saliva production (which helps protect against decay). Additionally, the natural fiber in the fruit will gently rub off an excess of dental plaque, lowering the odds of getting cavities even more and the foods get bonus points for reducing the visibility of tooth stains.
Individuals looking for more advice on what types of foods they should eat for oral health can get an expert opinion from a great dentist. If you are trying to find a dentist, 1-800-DENTIST can provide you with the contact information for a screened dental care practitioner that can help you put your best smile forward.