Somewhere along the line, we have all been told to choose organic fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. These fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of pesticides and other chemicals, making them preferable for our digestive systems. While considerable research has been conducted to support this argument for your overall health, have you ever thought about how produce affects your dental health?
Dental health supporting vitamins and minerals are denser
Compared to their commercially-grown counterparts, organic fruits and vegetables are richer in vitamins and minerals. Just like the rest of our body, our teeth need these nutrients to remain healthy. Scientists at the University of Newcastle in the UK conducted a study showing that organic produce, including carrots, apples, and peaches, was packed with up to 20% more vitamin C than non-organic options.
Vitamin C is essential for gum strength and keeping your teeth rooted in the gums; if you lack it, your oral health can suffer.
Organic produce helps your body fight bacteria and inflammation
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and vitamins, which strengthen the body’s ability to combat infection and inflammation. These nutrients keep bacteria out of your mouth, shielding your teeth and gums from the harmful effects bacteria can cause. Vitamin A, found in leafy greens, has a healing and restorative impact on your mouth, aiding disease prevention. Organically-grown produce contains more antioxidants than commercially-grown, pesticide-treated options, increasing your bacteria-fighting ability.
Organic produce is cleaner
In addition to the bacteria-fighting power, and the increased nutrient density that organic fruits and vegetables offer, they are also “cleaner” to eat. Organic.com defines organic as “grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation.” It is easy to see why someone would choose organic over commercially grown after reading “sewage sludge”. These bi-products of commercially grown produce can be harmful to your teeth and gums if not properly cleaned before ingestion. By choosing organic you are bypassing these residues, and protecting your mouth and teeth from their negative effects.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a yearly list of the cleanest and dirtiest produce varieties. The cleaner varieties can be purchased conventionally, while others are “dirtier” and should be purchased organically.
In 2016, the cleanest fruits and veggies included:
- Sweet Peas
- Honeydew Melon
On the flip side, the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables were:
- Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
Organic produce is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which promote oral health and fend off bacteria and inflammation. These fruits and vegetables lack pesticide residues that are present in their commercially grown counterparts, making them a “cleaner” choice. When evaluating the positive effects of organic produce on your dental health, it is easy to see why organic is the best choice.
If you have any questions about proper dental care, or how foods affect your oral health, we are happy to help you! Visit the “Get in Touch” tab at the top of our site to talk to the best dental staff in Houston.