Wait . . . there’s something odd about that title. We all know the old adage an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there’s some great research that shows that apples and other fruits and vegetables may be beneficial to your oral health! Every June the USDA sponsors the National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, and that’s where we picked up some great information regarding fruits and veggies and your oral health.
Fruits and vegetables are chocked full of vitamins and antioxidants that help protect your teeth and gums. Chewing these types of foods increases saliva flow in your mouth and stimulates your gums, reducing the amount of cavity causing bacteria in your mouth. Saliva is a vital aspect of good oral health. Saliva controls the acidity in your mouth which helps prevent gum and tooth decay and wash away food particles. The high water content in raw fruits and vegetables rinses your mouth and will help to keep your mouth and teeth clean. You may want to think about eating these types of foods at the end of most meals to truly benefit your teeth.
Check out this list of fruits and vegetables that have been noted for having significant oral health benefits:
The apple is also called “nature’s toothbrush”. The texture of apples helps clean your teeth and gums. So yes, eating an apple a day could really help keep the dentist away, but that doesn’t mean you can skip daily brushing!
Citrus fruits like oranges, tomatoes, pears, watermelon and pineapples contain large amounts of vitamins C. Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy gums. Remember that acidic fruits like citrus fruits can also erode tooth enamel on your teeth, so when you eat acidic fruits, it’s important to drink or rinse with water afterwards.
Leafy green veggies like cabbage, lettuce, kales, collards, asparagus and spinach are chocked full of important vitamins and minerals but they also contain beta carotene, phosphorus. The vitamin A found in these leafy green and phosphorus is stored in teeth and bones.
Root vegetables contain beta carotene that your body turns into Vitamin A. Munching on root veggies like carrots and celery will help build strong teeth. These vegetables contain a lot of water which will help to clean your gums and teeth.
Summertime means an abundance of freshly grown fruits and vegetables in stores, local farmers markets, roadside stands or your backyard garden. Do your teeth a favor and grab some fresh produce and snack away!