It’s important to take good care of your teeth. Your chompers are not only responsible for allowing you to chew and consume food efficiently, they also help you talk clearly and smile confidently. As a bare minimum, you should always make sure to brush your teeth after every meal or at least three times a day. Flossing, tongue scraping, and using mouthwash regularly—in addition to visiting your dentist every six months—also contribute significantly to keeping your teeth healthy.
That being said, did you know that there’s something else you can do to improve your oral health? It’s through eating certain food that have been proven to help protect your teeth as well as improve your diet. Learn about them by reading our list of ten best foods for your teeth and gums.
Do you love snacking on cheese? Or perhaps you can’t go without asking for a slice of extra cheddar when you order your favorite sandwich or burger? Whichever the case, there’s now a good reason why you shouldn’t feel guilty about including cheese in your daily diet. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry—the official journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry—noted that eating cheese raised the oral pH of the study’s subjects. Increasing the pH in the mouth helps reduce the presence of acid-releasing bacteria, which, over the long term, also helps prevent tooth decay.
Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables, especially the leafy and green sort, will always be part of any health-conscious diet. However, it’s also been proven that they can also help keep your mouth and teeth strong and free of oral health problems. Spinach and kale, for example, are high in calcium and folic acid, which help strengthen teeth and prevent gum disease, respectively. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in phosphate, which contributes to restoring the minerals that make up the enamel of your teeth.
The crunchy and fibrous nature of apples helps in mechanically removing some of the plaque that has formed on your teeth.
Just like with apples, the crunchiness of carrots can help in disturbing the plaque deposit on your teeth. For best results, chew on a few slices of raw carrots at the end of every meal. You can also have peeled baby carrots for a healthy and filling snack.
Another food that can give your teeth a gentle yet thorough cleaning as you snack on it is celery. Its stringy structure, which can be annoying to deal with, actually scrapes away food particles from your teeth, acting as a natural dental floss while also massaging your gums. However, if you really can’t stand how bland celery is, then consider dipping it into some yogurt for an even healthier snack.
This popular tangy food product is high in calcium, making it another excellent snack for building up the strength and hardness of your teeth. At least one study has also suggested that the probiotics in yogurt can help reduce the levels of plaque on the teeth, as well as the amount of odor-causing compounds in the mouth. This lead researchers to conclude that eating yogurt regularly may be a safe and effective means to combat bad breath.
Chewing a stick of sugarless gum increases saliva production in your mouth, essentially giving your teeth a cleansing bath that can help eliminate bacteria and some of the plaque. Of course, this benefit would be moot if you pick a sugary chewing gum, so make sure to buy only the sugar-free type.
Can’t get enough of your daily cup of tea? As it turns out, your teeth can’t as well! Researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago have discovered that green and black tea can, in fact, decrease plaque buildup on the teeth. This is thanks to compounds known as polyphenols found in green and black tea, which helps reduce the buildup of dental plaque. Moreover, a 2010 study also found that the same polyphenols can also help fight bad breath, specifically because it inhibits the growth of bad breath-causing bacteria
Raisins may seem like the worst thing to eat when you’re trying to maintain the health of your teeth, seeing as they’re so sweet. However, they can actually help improve the health of your teeth. Raisins contain phytochemicals, which suppresses bacteria that can cause plaque formation and gum disease.
Finally, snacking on a handful of tangy cranberries can give your oral health a boost. Just like tea, cranberries contain polyphenols, which can help keep plaque from adhering to your teeth. This lowers the chances of you developing cavities. We do warn you that some cranberry products out there may have a lot of sugar added, so it’s best to go with fresh ones instead.
Enjoying a snack doesn’t have to mean consuming food items that can potentially ruin your teeth in the long run. There are many delicious and healthy food products that you can enjoy while even giving your dental health a boost. Remember, however, that you still have to observe proper dental care practices to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
This is a guest post by Dr. Douglas Kim from Chino Hills Family Dentistry, a trusted dentist in Chino Hills. Aside from providing general, family, and cosmetic dentistry services, Dr. Kim is also passionate about educating patients on how to properly care for their oral health. During his spare time, Dr. Kim enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.