We’ve spoken before about the worst summer foods for your teeth, but what about the best? With all of the fresh, vibrant produce this season provides, you’ll be happy to know that some of your favorite warm-weather crops can also help keep those teeth strong and bright. Below, we’ve listed 5 of our favorite summer foods that can improve your dental health, and why you need to include more of these fruits and veggies in your diet.
Plump, ripe strawberries are one of the hallmarks of summer, and it’s hard not to devour a whole carton of these juicy berries when they’re in season. Each berry contains a hefty dose of Vitamin C, which helps reduce inflammation of the gums and can help prevent gum disease and gingivitis. Strawberries also contain malic acid, which is a natural tooth whitener. Just steer clear of adding additional sugar to your berries — they already contain quite a bit of the sweet stuff as it is, and additional sugar can cause cavities and tooth decay.
Watermelon is another summer staple that’s packed full of Vitamin C. Watermelon also contains a ton of water, which keeps you hydrated in the summer heat and also helps rinse your mouth out. This not only counteracts any negative effects of the fruit’s natural sugars, it’ll help flush out any other particulate in your mouth, making this the perfect dessert to cap off a summer picnic.
Okay, so cheese technically isn’t a summer food, but it’s one you should try to incorporate into your summer diet (beyond cheeseburgers, of course). Cheese contains a high amount of calcium, which helps strengthen both your enamel and the overall tooth structure. Cheese also helps raise the pH level in your mouth, which is a great way to counteract the effects of acidic foods like pickles, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
Like watermelon, celery contains a lot of water which will help keep you hydrated under the summer sun, and it helps flush your mouth of any particulate that may be stuck to your teeth. Celery also contains a lot of stringy fibers, which can act like natural dental floss — perfect for when you don’t have your floss on hand!
Here’s a reason for your kids to eat their broccoli — this green veggie is high in iron, which can help strengthen and protect tooth enamel from acid erosion. This is good to keep in mind when planning a summer meal, especially when you’d like to eat acidic summer staples like tomatoes. By balancing the acid out with broccoli, and adding some cheese to help raise the pH in your mouth, you’ll get a healthful meal that’s good for your teeth, too.
Fresh fruits and veggies are our favorite part of summer, but knowing what foods can help strengthen and protect your teeth can help you make better eating decisions at each meal. Want to know more about how your diet can affect your oral health? Just drop us a line, or leave us a note in the comments!