Fall Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth
The days are getting crisper and the nights are getting cooler. That can mean only one thing: Fall is on its way! With the autumn season come seasonal fairs, Halloween, Thanksgiving, apple-picking, and a variety of events and fun that are only common this time of year. The harvest season provides many different types of foods to choose from. Do you know which ones are best for your teeth? Read on to find out!
There’s nothing like biting into an apple fresh from the tree. In addition to tasting delicious and being a good source of nutrition, apples can keep your teeth healthy, too. Their texture scrubs your teeth clean as you chew, removing the plaque that can feed the bacteria hanging out in your mouth. The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” can apply to dentists, too (though you should still stop in twice yearly for your checkups!).
A common favorite food in the fall, cranberries offer various health benefits. They have antibacterial properties that can inhibit bacterial growth on the teeth, which can protect you from dental decay. One caveat: Cranberry sauce is often full of sugar, which counteracts the antibacterial benefits of the fresh cranberries. Drinking cranberry juice (actual juice, not cocktail) can give you benefits similar to the fresh, tart berries.
Sweet potatoes add a colorful and delicious element to your fall meals. They also are a great source of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Try serving them in place of white potatoes or, if your family finds the taste of sweet potatoes to be too strong, mixed half and half with the milder spuds. Carrots are another good source of vitamin A.
Have you ever scooped the seeds out of pumpkins (perhaps while making a jack o’lantern)? Rather than throwing them away, you can roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (check them every 5 minutes and take them out when they’re crispy and light brown). These fall snacks are full of phosphorus, which is one of the building blocks of healthy teeth.
Fall foods are delicious, and they’re even better when they contribute to your health. Talk to your dentist about which foods to focus on for stronger, healthier teeth.