Life can be over before you know it, so smile often while you still have teeth. That can be easier said than done for people without dental insurance. Also, fewer people are enthusiastic to go to the dentist now because of the pandemic. And depending on the dentist you visit certain dental procedures may not be permitted because of coronavirus protocols. For example, saliva sprays that could be caused by dental drills may limit your treatment options. Still, pandemic or no, there is no way to get out of going to the dentist at least once a year. But the best way to protect your oral health is to regularly and proactive brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. And there are many foods that are good for your oral health.
Foods that are good for your oral health are fibrous, nutrient-rich, and sometimes even act as de facto toothbrushes to naturally clean your teeth. I am sure that I don’t have to tell you what junk food is and why it is unhealthy for you.
But I am certain that you don’t know all of the foods that are good for your oral health. And knowing exactly what foods are good for your overall oral health can keep you out of the dentist’s chair more often.
To better appreciate what foods can improve your oral health, let’s talk about the high cost of dental insurance and dental care.
The High Cost of Dental Care
If you are self-conscious about your smile nowadays, you may not be the only one after all relative to your circumstances.
According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 5% of American adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have no teeth.
Over 3% of American adults have at least 3 badly decayed or missing teeth or about 14 decayed or missing parts if their teeth.
You are likely to lose a dozen teeth by the time you become 50 years old.
About 91% of Americans have at least one cavity in their mouth. And 19% of elderly Americans have no teeth at all.
The problem with worsening tooth decay in America, along with deficient dental hygiene, is that most people don’t realize they have a tooth problem until it’s too late.
Contrary to popular belief, cavities usually don’t hurt and aren’t physically perceptible when they first develop. By the time you can perceive the pain of a cavity, it has probably been developing for a while.
And another reason why dental problems persist in the United States for many people is that treating them is so expensive.
The typical dental plan costs about $360 annually. However, the typical coverage limit is $1,000 to $2,000. And while that sounds like a lot, advanced dental procedures are expensive and may require more than one visit.
The average dental filling can cost as much as $250. One dental crown can cost $960 to $1,650. The typical root canal can cost $600 to $1,200. And a basic dental implant can cost $1,200 to $2,500.
And now that we understand the high cost of dental care, let’s talk about the foods that are good for your oral health.
Foods That Are Good for Your Oral Health
The foods that are good for are obviously healthy food. Healthy food is relatively inexpensive depending on where you shop. And some it, like water, is free.
The human body is composed of over 60% water. Most of your body is made of water and you need to drink water every day to survive.
While it wouldn’t be a pleasurable experience, you could survive for days or weeks drinking only water and no food, but not vice-versa.
Water keeps you hydrated, distributes nutrients throughout your body, helps your body get rid of waste, and aids oral hygiene.
Drinking water helps to continually regenerate saliva and washes unseen food particles from you’re your teeth.
Want to take better care of your teeth? Then eat more dairy products.
Cheese is high in calcium, low in sugar, and also contains casein. Calcium and casein naturally fortify tooth enamel and bone density.
Additionally, cheese has a lot of phosphates. Phosphate balances pH levels in your mouth and protects your tooth enamel when you eat highly acidic foods.
Drinking milk and eating yogurt helps to fight tooth decay and lowers acidity levels in your mouth too.
Raw, Crunchy, and Fibrous Vegetables
Raw carrots and celery are food that is good for your oral health. Carrots are naturally crunchy, so eating them stimulates saliva production and helps to scrub out bacteria and food particles.
Eating carrots clean your teeth like a natural toothbrush.
Celery is sometimes called nature’s original dental floss. Chewing celery naturally cleans teeth because it is fibrous and crunchy.
Leafy Green Veggies
Leafy green vegetables like kale, lettuce, and spinach are nutrient-rich in folic acid, calcium, and other vital minerals that aid oral health.
Pears and Apples
Hard, fibrous fruits with interior pulp, like pears and apples, naturally clean teeth like a toothbrush via their fibrous pulp and skin.
Pears and apples stimulate the generation of saliva which wicks away bacteria from teeth after brushing.
And raw pears and apples neutralize malic, citrus, and other kinds of acids which can wear down tooth enamel in time.
Take Care of Your Teeth
While there are a lot of foods that are good for your oral health, you must still take proactive care of your teeth.
Brush your teeth after every meal and use the right toothbrush for your teeth. Floss as often as possible. Use mouthwash and quit smoking.
Talk to your dentist about the best way to take care of your teeth.
Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business.