Posted April 6, 2016
Eating a “sack lunch” at school or work can become boring. It may be tempting to buy pre-made lunch items at the store, but often these choices have preservatives and extra salt that are not good for your body, teeth or gums. Consider these five choices for lunches that can keep teeth healthy:
1. Protein – To build strong enamel and keep teeth healthy, take along an insulated carafe of soup with meat and vegetables. Or make a healthy sandwich using multi-grain or whole-wheat bread, and lean meats rich in protein, such as turkey or chicken.
2. Vitamin C – Strengthen blood vessels and oral tissues with vitamin C by eating strips of red peppers or orange slices.
3. Calcium – Add foods rich in calcium, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, to fight tooth decay and strengthen your teeth and jaw. When purchasing yogurt and milk, check the ingredients list for added sugars.
4. Vitamin D – Add tuna fish or boiled eggs to your lunch; they are excellent sources of protein and vitamin D.
5. Crunchy fruits and vegetables – Control oral bacteria by eating crunchy, healthy foods, such as apples, pears, celery and carrots. These foods require a lot of chewing, which generates saliva in the mouth and helps kill potentially harmful oral bacteria.
Review some additional tips for good oral health:
- Brush teeth every day after breakfast and at bedtime.
- After eating, wait 30 minutes before brushing teeth to prevent food acids from etching tooth enamel.
- If you don’t have time to brush, eat a piece of cheese and rinse your mouth with milk or water.
- Floss once daily and use a mouth rinse to kill oral bacteria.
- Schedule regular dental appointments for checkups and professional cleanings as directed by your dentist.
Looking for additional ideas for healthy lunches?
A Healthier Michigan