Why Fruits And Vegetables Are Important To Your Oral Health

March is Nutrition Month—an education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Of course the topic of eating enough fruits and vegetables is applicable to our overall health, but most of us don’t often think about the implications for our teeth, gums, and complete oral health.

It’s important to keep up your oral and overall health while undergoing orthodontic treatment, and making sure that you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables will help!

Feed Your Teeth And Gums What They Really Want

Did you know that…

  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables help clean your teeth.
  • Magnesium from bananas can help restore tooth enamel.
  • The Vitamin A in butternut squash can help heal sores in your mouth.
  • Dark, leafy greens and broccoli have LOTS of calcium.
  • Vitamin C from citrus fruits helps keep our gums healthy.
  • Replacing sugary, starchy snacks with healthy fruits and vegetables can lower your tooth decay risk.
  • Yep… What’s good for your body is usually really good for your mouth too!

Are You Eating Enough Fruits And Vegetables?

Not sure how many servings of fresh fruits and vegetables you need? Click on the calculator (left) to find out, based on your age, gender, and daily activity level. The recommended number of servings may be much higher than you think. And if you’re not consuming enough servings, here are some handy tips that will help:

1. Switch up your snacks. Cookies and crackers are easy to eat because they’re so accessible. With a little effort, fruits and vegetables can be just as accessible. Slice apples, pre-cut vegetables (and if you need it, pre-make a favorite dip for them).

2. Include vegetables in your entrees. Load up sandwiches and pizzas with them. Incorporate them into burritos, pasta, scrambled eggs, etc.

3. Add fruits to desserts. Put berries in your yogurt, bananas in your cereal, and order the fruit tart instead of the chocolate cake. Even better, replace usual desserts with a fruit plate.

4. Experiment with different vegetables and vegetable cooking techniques. This will add variety!

Special Note While You’re In Braces:
Some raw vegetables can be hard on your braces. We suggest cutting them up small (medallion carrots are great) or cooking them to make them softer. For example, try this recipe:

How To Roast Awesome Vegetables!

Your Teeth Love Vegetables. Your Oral Bacteria Loves Sugars.

We hope these ideas help you become the healthiest you can be. As your orthodontic team, we’re also concerned about both your overall and oral health and how you can keep your beautiful smile healthy for life. Do YOU have a few of your own ideas that will help others? Please share them below, or on our Facebook page!