Is there anything healthier than a smoothie? They might be packed with a powerhouse of lettuce, spinach or greens with a large amount of seasonal or frozen fruit, lots of citrus, some hydrating veggies like cucumber, and with a scoop of protein powder, flax or chia seeds thrown in. All that nutrition sounds like the perfect way to start the day! And if it’s good for breakfast, it must be great for lunch, snacks and dinner too! Why not just round out the day with a smoothie bowl for dessert, whirled up in your high-speed blender using frozen bananas and more vitamin packed fruit?
Now let’s look at what that smoothie just did to your general health — complete awesomeness! You just ingested more real food in one drink than some people get all month. The vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are now moving through your body doing good things for your tissues. And shall we talk about what all that plant fiber does for a colon? Okay, let’s just stop there. After all, this is a dental blog.
That All Sounds Good, But What Else?
Since this is a dental blog, let’s digest what that healthy green smoothie might do for your teeth. Spinach is full of calcium, and that’s good for your teeth and bones. While fruit contains lots of acid, the vitamin C is great for your gums! (Think of all the toothless sailors from scurvy.) So what’s the issue with smoothies? What could be wrong with sipping on pulverized fruit and greens all morning, or possibly all day?
Here’s the problem with consuming excess liquefied foods. Obviously, you drink them. You don’t chew them. And while drinkable foods are easy on the schedule of a busy person, when used as the primary form of nutrition, they are not good for your teeth.
Teeth need to chew to stay healthy. They need to come in contact with real food, while working with their corresponding tooth from above or below. This provides pressure that aids teeth to stay in alignment. And this pressure from chewing and munching and biting real foods with crunch keeps the roots of your teeth firmly attached to your jawbone. Chewing isn’t just necessary to prepare food to be digested! It’s part of what keeps our teeth vibrant, strong and healthy. We need teeth to chew and we need to chew to keep our teeth.
So while a smoothie for breakfast is a great way to start the day and add lots of health promoting foods to your diet, don’t expect to sip, slurp and slosh down your food all day and still keep your smile for years to come. Use your teeth for chomping food with some fight in it!
If you have any concerns about your gums or the health of your teeth under the gumline, be sure to bring it up at your next appointment with the Sacramento Dentistry Group. Our caring dentists are able to answer any questions you may have about keeping your teeth healthy and in alignment!