The Produce for Better Health Foundation has declared September to be Fruits and Veggies—More Matters month, which means it’s the perfect time to start focusing your attention on making sure that you and your family eat more fruits and vegetables. According to the Foundation, 90% of both adults and children don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables in their everyday diet. That’s based on the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the MyPlate nutrition guide (think of it as an updated version of the Food Pyramid you may have grown up with) and the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Here at your Overland Park family dentist, we believe that everyone can benefit from more fruits and veggies in their diet. Not only are fruits and vegetables good for your overall health, many are particularly good for your teeth! Here are just a few of the benefits that fruits and veggies can have for a healthy smile:
- Oranges, kiwis, and pineapples all contain boatloads of Vitamin C to help boost your immune system and fight inflammation in your gums. In fact, just one kiwi contains your entire daily requirement of Vitamin C! Oranges and pineapples also contain an enzyme called bromelain, which can break up plaque and act as a natural stain remover.
- High fiber vegetables and crisp, crunchy fruits such as apples, carrots, celery, and leafy greens like kale are all sometimes referred to as “nature’s toothbrushes,” because their high fiber content and crunchy texture act as a natural abrasive to scrub teeth clean, while also promoting saliva which can help prevent plaque.
- Strawberries also contain a big dose of antioxidants and Vitamin C, as well as a natural astringent that helps them whiten the enamel of your teeth!
- Recent studies have found an indication that eating fresh cranberries interrupts the bonding of oral bacteria before it can form damaging plaque.
- If you’re eating fruits and veggies for snacks, probably not snacking on sugary processed, packaged foods that can be terrible for your oral health.
When it comes to fruits and veggies, more is better, and these are just a few of the ways that eating more healthy fruits and vegetables can have a big impact on your dental and overall health. Getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet doesn’t have to be a chore, either. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, even just adding one more serving of fruits and veggies to your daily diet can have big results. Other things to remember are that you should fill roughly half your plate with fruits and vegetables whenever you eat—including snacks!—and that all forms of produce count, including fresh, dried, canned, and even juice!
A healthy diet can have a huge impact on your oral health, but you still need to schedule regular visits with your friendly Overland Park dentist. Here at Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas our focus is on your overall health, not just fixing cavities or putting in braces. That’s why we offer preventative dental care that will keep your whole family smiling! To make an appointment, call us today at (913) 338-3384 or fill out our quick and easy online contact form.