Eating fruits and vegetables are not only good for your overall health but also specifically for your oral health. So if you like eating salad, this article is for you because leafy vegetables are surprisingly good for your oral health.

They help you to chew better and in the process strengthen your teeth.

Thus if your mom tells you to eat more vegetables, that will keep your teeth healthier for a long time well into adulthood.

So what are these leafy greens that you should eat often! Let’s find out!

leafy vegetables for teeth

 

Leafy Vegetables That Are Good for Teeth

You first need to know what are these vegetables:

  • lettuce
  • kale
  • spinach
  • celery
  • chard
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
  • arugula
  • watercress

While all of these are not specifically leafy, they still come in the category of green vegetables that are beneficial to your teeth.

These contain lots of nutrients and are also low-calorie.

They reinforce the tooth enamel providing protection from cavity-causing bacteria.

Moreover, they also contain folic acid which protects your gums and treats them for periodontal disease.

This is especially useful for pregnant women who may get gingivitis and gum disease in their term.

But these vegetables can also improve your oral health in specific ways. Such as:

Spinach

Spinach is full of Vitamin C, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folic acid, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and manganese.

These vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and Calcium improve gum health and strengthen teeth.

Cabbage 

It contains a high content of Vitamin K and C.

Moreover, it contains fiber that is known to be like toothbrushes for teeth.

You can also find antioxidants such as glucosinolates that are also helpful in suppressing disease in your body the mouth included.

Asparagus 

Did you know that asparagus is full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin A, C, E and K as well as folate among several other nutrients?

Macronutrients are not the only thing you are getting but also micronutrients such as zinc and iron.

green leafy vegetables

Kale 

Kale also contains almost similar nutrients to spinach, providing the same dental health benefits.

Chard 

Chard lowers blood pressure which also greatly impacts your oral health.

Plus it contains a great amount of Vitamin K.

Celery 

Celery is known to be full of fiber.

This vegetable has tiny toothbrushes to clean your teeth.

Carrot 

Not a leafy vegetable but is full of fiber and beta carotene i.e. good for teeth.

nutrients in veggies

Nutrients in Leafy Vegetables

These vegetables are good for your teeth thanks to the nutrients they contain.

The vitamins and minerals found in abundance in these veggies are:

  • Calcium
  • Antioxidants
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A, C, E and K
  • Phosphorus
  • Xylitol
  • Folic acid
  • Anthocyanins

Leafy vegetables that are plant-based usually contain calcium. 

Calcium is a vital mineral in building enamel.

Your saliva also contains calcium ions to remineralize the enamel.

Consuming it through vegetables can help to strengthen the enamel protecting your teeth from cavities.

Antioxidants assist in speeding up wound healing.

This also applies to oral wounds like a blood clot after extracting a tooth.

Moreover, they provide additional protection from free radicals that are harmful to your overall body.

Magnesium also helps in strengthening teeth and enamel.

It absorbs calcium to build your enamel.

Therefore, when the teeth and the enamel is strong enough, there are lesser chances of decay.

As a result, it provides protection against cavities.

The vitamins are usually in abundance in leafy vegetables.

The common ones are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

If you eat enough green veggies, you will hardly ever have any vitamin deficiencies.

Your body needs beta carotene to make Vitamin A.

Vitamin A is responsible for making your teeth stronger.

Plus it helps in protecting the mucosal barriers that affect your upper teeth development as well as nasal breathing.

Vitamin C is known to protect against gum bleeding and receding.

It strengthens your gums so that they hold your teeth firmly in place.

Moreover, it protects the gums against any infection and cell damage.

Vitamin K is useful in blood clotting.

That comes in handy after a dental visit whereby your gums may bleed or after brushing and flossing where the same could happen.

eating veggies

Alongside calcium, Phosphorus ions are also present in the saliva.

It helps to protect your enamel remineralize it, therefore, rebuilding it.

Phosphorus works with calcium and Vitamin D to strengthen bones and as a result teeth.

Plus it lets the body absorb calcium and magnesium better.

Another nutrient present in leafy vegetables is xylitol. 

This helps to neutralize the pH in your mouth preventing it from becoming too acidic.

This way, the bacteria do not stick to your teeth resulting in cavities and tooth decay.

Plus, you can also get Folic Aid by eating vegetables.

It not only promotes your overall health but also prevents gum disease

Therefore, it is especially important for pregnant women that go through pregnancy gingivitis.

Lastly, green and leafy veggies also contain Anthocyanins.

These phytochemicals keep bacteria and pathogens away.

Thereby protecting your teeth and gum tissue preventing the accumulation of pathogens.

All of these nutrients are not present in all veggies.

However, the ones mentioned above are usually a good choice packed with most vitamins and minerals.

Hence, combining all of the nutrients, you can have better oral health and a stronger smile.

Thus, if you may want your child to know the importance of veggies early on.

So what importance do they hold for your teeth?

woman holding carrots

Importance of Veggies

After you have eaten food, the residue remains on your teeth for a while.

This can be very harmful to your teeth if the residue is sugars or acids.

The fibrous texture of vegetables, especially the raw ones has several benefits for your teeth.

It can brush off the rest of the unhealthy food residue.

That is why fiber acts as mini toothbrushes for your teeth.

These veggies produce saliva that helps to wash away the food residue remaining so that it does not stick to your teeth becoming tartar.

The increase in saliva also balances the pH of the mouth.

It lowers down the acidity which does not give the remaining bacteria a chance to flourish.

Plus, it washes away the remaining food particles leaving less room for decay.

Another way of increasing saliva and fighting cavities is how fiber massages gum tissue.

It stimulates and rubs it, therefore, resulting in an increase in saliva.

So now you know why fiber is referred to as a mini toothbrush for your teeth.

Not only will these veggies improve your overall physical health, but they are also important in balancing your oral health.

So whenever you choose a vegetable or a fruit to eat over an unhealthy snack, you are doing your teeth a favor.

You are replacing the artificial sugars, carbohydrates and acids in snacks with all of these minerals and vitamins that benefit your teeth.

Hence, substitute unhealthy snacks with vegetables and fruit.

It is important to remember that even if you have a good diet, ultimately oral hygiene practices will save your teeth and gums.

Eat well but also brush and floss frequently.

These habits should be instilled in children from a young age so that they have healthy teeth in old age.

Let’s find out how!

kid eating tomato

Getting Your Kids to Eat Veggies

You want your child to eat well from a young age.

However, as a parent, you are well aware that this is not an easy task.

Unhealthy snacks are so tempting and fit your little ones’ taste buds.

But you know they are not healthy. So how can you get your kids to try vegetables?

Well, there are different ways to do so:

  • Eat vegetables with them. Set an example because children follow their parents. If they see you eating veggies they will think it is a good thing to eat too.
  • Praise your child when they eat veggies or give them a reward. Getting that will urge them to try it again.
  • Try a different variety of vegetables. Experiment with color and tastes.
  • If they refuse to eat them, don’t give up. Keep trying, they may start taking an interest. Or you can use other ways to ignite their interest…
  • Get them to cook with you. Try new recipes. You can either stir fry veggies or make a dish containing them. When kids are part of the process they take more interest.
  • Give them raw vegetables as snacks rather than unhealthy junk food. If they feel hungry before lunchtime, give them some carrots to eat.
  • If everything else fails you can simply give your children veggies by disguising them in their favorite dish. Lettuce in their burger or add cabbage to their meal discreetly.

Whenever your child starts eating veggies, make sure that they also take good care of their oral hygiene.

Only then they can be safe from oral health problems.

Hence, introduce beneficial green and leafy vegetables to your meals so that you get enough nutrients that protect you from several oral health diseases.