Fall is a time of sipping soothing warm drinks and diving into delicious comfort foods. Here are some foods that will help celebrate this amazing time of year, that are also good for your teeth!
Is there anything like biting into a fresh, crisp, juicy fall apple? Apples have a crunchy, fibrous texture. The action of chewing apples, pears and other hard fibrous fruits of fall, helps to clean debris from teeth. The chewing action also helps stimulate gums and activates the flow of saliva. This in turn helps to wash away cavity-causing bacteria which can contribute to a lower risk of tooth decay.
Well-known for promoting overall health, leafy greens are outstanding for supporting oral health. Kale, along with other fall vegetables like cabbage, are particularly delicious once they have been exposed to a light frost or two. For this reason, kale is a preferred fall food favorite. Considerably high in tooth-strengthening calcium, kale also helps to fight gum disease with its high levels of folic acid. Kale contains many important vitamins and minerals which are great for teeth and overall health.
For some, fall is soup season. Many vegetables hold their health benefits better when eaten fresh, but kale is special. Kale holds its incredible superfood health status even when baked, boiled, steamed, chopped, frozen, pulverized, and importantly, added to any favorite soup recipe!
Sure, carrots are available year-round because they are healthy, handy, delicious and store well. The best crunchy carrot flavor is in fresh-harvested fall carrots. Raw carrots are a firm fibrous food which makes them great natural teeth scrubbers. All that chewing helps to stimulate saliva which adds to their teeth-washing abilities. Packed with important mouth-benefiting minerals and vitamins, carrots contain lots of vitamin C, A, Bs, calcium, and keratins which promote healthy skin, teeth, and gums.
Carrots are easy to add to the fall diet in salads and as snacks. They are also delicious and nutritious when roasted or added to soups.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds host a wide assortment of benefits for teeth. The original comfort food, nuts and seeds are perfect fall time snacks. Raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds are incredibly flavorful. However, make sure you refrain from candied or coated nuts and seeds for maximum oral health benefit!
Encapsulated Nutrition Powerhouses:
Nuts and seeds such as Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of teeth-benefiting calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and many essential vitamins. Many nuts and seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help maintain gum health by reducing signs of periodontal disease.
What season isn’t perfect for cheese? Cheese in fall is extra special. Moving from lighter summer fare, the harder, sharper, denser cheeses of fall are even better for your teeth. A beautiful plate of fresh crisp apples, some shelled raw nuts, and specialty sharp cheddar or precious imported aged parmesan is a fall celebration that benefits the oral wellbeing along with the palate and the body.
Cheese is high in calcium, and it contains a protein called casein which has significant benefits for strengthening tooth enamel. Low in sugar, cheese helps to lower acid levels in the mouth which helps to fight tooth decay. Saliva production increases when chewing on cheese which again helps to wash away bacteria from the teeth.
Tea and Coffee
The season of warming up with toasty wool sweaters and a nice cup of something hot and soothing doesn’t have to come at a cost to teeth. Although tea and coffee have tannins that can stain teeth, they also contain plaque-fighting ingredients. As long as these beverages are mostly unsweetened and don’t stay on the teeth for long periods of time, there are many benefits to a steaming warm delightful cup.
Tea and coffee contain polyphenols which are naturally occurring antioxidants that help to combat cell damage and reduce inflammation. Green tea in particular has high-quality antioxidants, as well as antimicrobial properties that help to fight bad bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
When the temperature drops it is easy to forget the healthiest drink for the body. Water not only keeps people hydrated, it also helps eliminate waste, distribute nutrients, aids muscle and brain function, and is very helpful for oral health.
Water helps to wash the mouth, keep saliva levels high, and acts as a natural cavity fighter. At the end of every meal or snack, wash all that goodness down with some clean fresh water. It will help the body absorb the good nutrition while keeping a healthy, fresh, clean mouth.
Enjoy Fall Food Favorites That Are Good for Your Teeth
Eating well can have many benefits in terms of our oral health and overall health. Pairing nutrient-rich foods with excellent oral hygiene helps promote healthy teeth and gums for life. A diet full of fibrous, fresh fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich foods, whole grains, and foods that are high in protein are great for overall health and beneficial for a happy healthy smile.
We’d like to hear from you
Do you have any questions about foods that are good for your teeth? Or, if you have favorite fall foods you would like to share, we welcome you to post any questions, comments, or thoughts below.