A beautiful, attractive smile will almost always leave a lasting impression on someone you meet. In fact, according to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, nearly half of American adults believe a smile is the most memorable feature when meeting someone for the first time.
Your smile is a critical part of your appearance, which is why many people do whatever it takes to properly care for their teeth and gums. However, even your perfectly consistent oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist may not be enough to maintain a healthy mouth– Why?
Your Diet is Powerful
Many people aren’t aware of the essential role our diet plays in our oral health. With so many foods available that contain harmful sugars and sticky acids in them that can slowly destroy our teeth, oftentimes we don’t realize our brushing and flossing isn’t enough.
Luckily, there are a variety of enjoyable foods and drinks that can be beneficial for your teeth such as yogurt, water, nuts, fruits, or milk. We all strive to follow a well-balanced diet, and a big part of that is including enough fruits in our day-to-day basis which many of us are lacking.
Fruits shouldn’t be the food group you ignore. They don’t only provide you with an adequate amount of essential nutrients for your body, but certain fruits can also improve and protect your oral health. Discover which fruits you should start including in your diet.
Finding the Right Fruits
Although most fruits are an excellent choice for our overall health, especially when deciding between a candy bar or a banana, some are much more beneficial to your smile than others. Some fruits help keep your teeth strong by providing sufficient chewing and stimulation. Dr. Timothy Kosinski suggests that certain fruits help increase the production of saliva, which helps protect your teeth and gums from infections and decay.
To help you decide which types of fruits to eat as your snack that won’t only be tasty, but will be a key factor in good oral health, we’ve put together a brief guide explaining the different kinds. Is your favorite fruit helping your smile shine bright?
Fruits Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that should be comprised of our everyday diet. It’s known to help strengthen our blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and produce collagen– all which actually benefit our oral health. Fruits that contain Vitamin C will help your gums remain healthy because of its ability to fight against periodontal disease.
Eating citrus fruits can be tough to choose between because some are an excellent source of Vitamin C for your teeth and gums, but others have too much acidity which will eventually erode your tooth enamel.
When choosing a citrus fruit to accompany your lunch, find the ones that increase your salivation because your saliva helps clean your mouth and neutralize the acids left behind in your mouth. Here are some of the best citrus fruits to include in your diet that are also great for your teeth and gums.
Apples are hard and crunchy, which is “a great stimulant for your gums to keep your teeth strong and healthy,” according to Dr. Eugene Stanislaus. They also contain an acid that helps kills off bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath and greatly enhance your saliva flow. An important thing to know is that the skin is one of the most beneficial parts of an apple that helps keep your teeth and gums clean.
Many people are surprised when they find out strawberries are great to help keep your teeth free of stains. In addition to being packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, strawberries also contain malic acid which has been found to help naturally whiten smiles.
Another fruit that provides a great crunch for your teeth is pears. They help clear out any bacteria that turns into plaque because of their crisp texture and ability to produce a sufficient amount of saliva to counterbalance harmful acids.
Stay Away From These Citrus Fruits
Although some citrus fruits with Vitamin C are great for your oral health, others can be extremely damaging for having too much citrus. Watch out for these fruits because they can easily erode your tooth enamel over time:
If you want to enjoy these more acidic fruits, try consuming them periodically in your diet or accompany them with more powerful foods. Additionally, whenever you can, brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash immediately after so you can remove the dangerous acids. If you often eat these kinds of fruits and notice they’ve been impacting your smile, a restorative and cosmetic dentist like Dr. Peter Silberstein in Florida can help reverse the negative effects caused by the damaging acids.
Fruits Rich in Anthocyanins
In a study conducted by Dr. Purnima Kumar, she found evidence that suggests anthocyanins– water-soluble pigments that give fruits and veggies a blue, violet, or red color– can improve oral health with its antibacterial effect and ability to reduce inflammation. Fruits high in anthocyanins may be the best source of nutrients that helps prevent the attachment of plaque, which in the long-run can decrease our risk for periodontal disease, decay, cavities, and even oral cancer.
Here are some of the best fruits that are rich in anthocyanins that you should ensure you incorporate in your meals at least once a day.
Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and diminish the risks of gum disease because they can protect your gums from harmful bacteria. A recent study done by a group of scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry found that “a natural compound in grape seed extract could strengthen teeth dentin and increase the life of resin fillings.”
Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries– you name it! These kinds of berries are all great sources of anthocyanins and contain a variety of antioxidants that help defend against infection-causing bacteria.
Plums are high in anthocyanins as well as other important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The combination of these nutrients won’t only protect your gums from infection and teeth from decay, but they also may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Does a Fruit a Day Keep the Dentist Away?
Food is almost always the most exciting part of someone’s day. It’s even better knowing that you can eat delicious foods that are great for your smile and won’t stain your teeth or infect your gums. Now that you know about the different types of fruit that can make a valuable impact on your oral health, you can enjoy them for years to come without any harm.