Although elastic, spring and wire spacers improve the position of your teeth, they make your gums feel sore and uncomfortable until you adjust to wearing them, especially when you eat. Because of your pain, you won't eat the foods that you need to maintain healthy gums. You can maintain good oral health and nutrition with iron and calcium fortified tofu. Tofu's smooth texture is easy to chew and digest. Here's how tofu helps you obtain what you need and a quick recipe to enjoy until you adjust to your spacers.
Why Do You Need Calcium and Iron?
You may already know the health benefits of eating calcium-fortified foods for strong bones and tooth enamel. But calcium also protects your gums from gingivitis and periodontitis, which are the two most common forms of gum disease. The blood vessels in your gums depend on calcium to keep them firm enough to support your teeth.
Blood vessels carry oxygenated blood to your gums. The calcium inside your blood works alongside vitamin D and vitamin C to fight off and destroy bacteria. If you don't get enough calcium in your body during your adjustment time, bacteria can grow below your gum tissues.
Your mouth's blood vessels also need iron to prevent inflammation in your gums. Iron is one of the building blocks for red blood cells. If you develop a bacterial infection in your gums, your red blood cells or hemoglobin reduces. In many cases, you lose the energy you need to stay healthy during your adjustment time.
The best way to avoid the problems above and eat healthy is to add tofu to your diet.
How Does Tofu Help?
Eating 1/2 cup of tofu for lunch or dinner provides you with over 200 milligrams of calcium for the day. Additionally, tofu contains 40 percent of the iron that you need for healthy red blood cell development. Because tofu contains protein and very little fat, you can use it to substitute hard-to-chew meat products, such as chicken and beef.
Here's a quick and easy tofu recipe that you can make right now. First, drain the water out of one small package of organic tofu. You can do this by placing the tofu on a plate covered with five paper towels for about 15 minutes.
After the tofu dries, dice it into small cubes, then follow the steps below:
- Heat a nonstick pan on the stove for 1 minute, then coat it with 2 teaspoons of sesame seed or coconut oil.
- Place your tofu in the bottom of the pan, then toss or stir with a spatula for 3-5 minutes.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt, garlic and onion powder together, then sprinkle the seasonings over your tofu.
- Remove the tofu from heat, then serve it over a mashed potatoes.
After a few days, you can add more vegetables to your tofu or serve it with rice instead of mashed potatoes.
If your mouth continues to hurt from your spacers, even when you eat tofu, contact your dentist for assistance. One professional that may be able to help you is Arrowhead Family Dentistry.