Dental Care

The Best Foods For Your Dental Health

One of the only silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic is that more people are putting an intense focus on their personal health and hygiene. According to the nation’s dentists, more and more people are visiting their oral healthcare providers and asking specific questions as to ways they can best protect their teeth and oral health in general. The basic rules still apply, brush twice a day, floss regularly, and using fluoride-based products is always good for promoting enamel health. 

Many individuals have also used quarantine as an excuse to expand their cooking ability and dietary knowledge. So what foods should you be looking out for that are not only healthy for you, but your oral health/hygiene as well? 

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Leafy Green Vegetables: Leafy greens are self explanatory in terms of what they are. Things like romaine lettuce, kale, parsley, etc. all provide your body with prebiotics. Healthy oral bacteria that already live in our mouths feed on these prebiotics and are thus better able to protect our teeth. 

Citrus Fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and all other citrus fruits have a complex relationship with oral hygiene. The acidity of citrus fruits is bad for our enamel/can weaken our teeth, however, as long as you’re eating these products in moderation, they all can actually help benefit your oral health. Oranges and grapefruits, for example, are full of Vitamin C which directly helps strengthen the blood vessels in your mouth. This can reduce gum inflammation while also reducing your risk of gum disease. 

Fatty Fish: Fish is one of the more unexpected items on this list, however, fatty and oily fish are rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these things also work to support gum health, and omega-3 specifically works to reduce sensitivity in our gums which can cause bleeding while we brush or floss. 

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Milk: Milk along with most other dairy products, such as cheese or butter, may not be the best for our bodies health in general in excess, however, dairy products contain Vitamin K2, which is a nutrient that specifically strengthens your teeth. 

Green or Black Tea: Both of these types of tea in their plain form contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are important if you’re someone who has/does suffer from plaque, as they work to hold back the bacteria that builds plaque from spreading while also destroying it. Polyphenols will also combat any acidity that’s present within your mouth, and depending on what water you use to make the tea, it also can be a great source of fluoride. 

You want to focus on finding foods that are rich in calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium specifically, as all three of these elements are not only building blocks to our teeth, but continuously help them get stronger and healthier. 

While all of these products are general enough to implement into our everyday meals, it’s important to remember the foods that can also reverse all the strengthening effects these food products have. Obviously processed foods and sugary candies/beverages are not great for our teeth. Sugar in general erodes the tooth’s surface and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and all sorts of other dental issues. 

Continue to practice proper oral hygiene while eating these foods and your next trip to the dentist will surely be a quick one. 

Vitamin D

Foods That Provide Immune Support During A Pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic still deeply impacting this planet, many are searching for ways that they can help keep themselves healthy from home. Obviously, immune support is one of the biggest concerns in terms of avoiding infection of this virus, and luckily there are a multitude of foods that have specific nutrients and vitamins that directly help your immune system function and grow stronger. 

It’s important to note that if you do contract the coronavirus, flu, or any other sort of viral infection, obviously medicine and seeking professional medical attention is the only real option for recovery. These foods in general are just known to boost your body’s immune response and can help your body strengthen in the case that you do get infected; but again, foods are not cures. 

Elderberries have been used as a homemade flu remedy for decades. The small berries are mainly known for being saturated in antioxidants. Any foods with antioxidants in them are extremely beneficial for fighting inflammation within the body. When you contract a virus such as Covid-19 or the flu, your immune system’s initial response is to heat up; hence the fevers, body chills and internal inflammation of your organs. Elderberries can help combat that heat and help your immune system respond to the virus quicker. 

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Button mushrooms are commonly eaten in salads or pasta dishes and they actually contain a lot of beneficial vitamins within them. Selenium, to be more specific, is what keeps your body feeling strong and functional throughout a given day. If you’ve ever had a really bad cold and have felt extremely weak and achy, it’s likely because your body is suffering from a selenium deficiency due to the infiltration of whatever virus your body is fighting off. Selenium has been proven to especially help your body when you have the flu, hence why it’s recommended for immune support more so now as well. 

Any sort of citrus fruit directly benefits your immune system as well. Oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, etc. they all contain a large amount of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is known for helping your body create more white blood cells (the cells in your body that fight off infections). This is why it’s always recommended to drink some orange juice when you’re sick, to provide your body with even more nutrients and vitamins. It’s recommended that men should get at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day and women need at least 75 mg. 

Red bell peppers are also loaded with vitamin C and have the same impact as eating a citrus fruit. However, red bell peppers actually contain even more vitamin C than the average citrus fruit. 

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Garlic can be used as the base for practically every meal and luckily it contains certain nutrients that specifically aid the body in artery function. Your arteries tend to work less efficiently when your body’s busy fighting off a foreign virus, so eating garlic everyday can help ensure your arteries and veins are always strong and running smoothly. 

Broccoli is obviously one of the healthiest foods for you. It has a ton of essential vitamins in it that all directly impact your immune system. It also maintains these nutrients more if it’s eaten uncooked, so pick up some fresh broccoli next time you’re at the market!

Finally, having yogurt in the morning is an amazing source of protein, but more importantly, vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be absorbed into the body through sun exposure (always remember to wear an SPF or sunscreen). Vitamin D is similar to vitamin C in the sense that it’s often taken when one is sick with the cold or the flu. 

As previously stated, all of these foods are meant to help keep your immune system functioning properly and can definitely help your body fight off viral infection, however, if you or a loved one begins experiencing any sort of flu or Covid-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.