Fall Fruits and Veggies – Good for You, Good for Your Teeth
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the abundance of a good farmer’s market haul of seasonal produce. From apples to pears, and brussel sprouts to broccoli, the flavors of fall taste great, but did you know these foods also help you maintain a healthy smile?
It’s not just the trees that turn colors during fall. Your veggies do, too! Foods such as pumpkins that reflect the colors of autumn often contain the antioxidant beta- carotene which converts to Vitamin A in the body. And foods that are rich in beta-carotene help your teeth and bones stay strong.
And while you’re shopping for that perfect pumpkin, don’t overlook the power of pumpkin seeds for good oral health. Tooth enamel is essential to the health of your teeth, but it can be eroded by acid created by certain food and drinks. Eating foods that contain phosphorus can keep your enamel strong and pumpkin seeds are especially high in phosphorus. So don’t forget the seeds when you’re carving your pumpkin before Halloween.
Leafy green fall veggies such as kale and spinach are chock full of the vitamins and minerals important for good oral health. They’re high in calcium and contain folic acid, which may treat gum disease in pregnant women.*
While most dentists will advise you to stay clear of sweets, a perfectly ripe, raw pear actually neutralizes acids in the mouth, making pears a perfect snack or dessert choice any time.
If you’d like to check what’s local, fresh and in season in your area, visit the handy Seasonal Food Guide.
But keep in mind that even after the healthiest fall foods, it’s still a good idea to clean your teeth after snacks and meals to keep your smile healthy and bright.
*Source: American Dental Association