The care and health of your teeth is a priority for many people, as it should be. After all, your teeth are not only one of the first things people see and take note of; they are the means by which we nourish ourselves. As such, everyone should strive to maintain good oral hygiene practices.
It is common knowledge that sugar causes cavities, that wine and coffee stain your teeth, and that high acidity foods like lemons and grapefruits can eat away at your enamel. But what you may not know is that some foods are actually good for your teeth — capable of providing benefits in terms of your health as well as the appearance of your pearly whites.
This may be surprising to read, but while there are many kinds of gum that contain sugar, sugarless gum can actually help to keep your teeth clean. Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in one’s mouth. Saliva is the body’s natural teeth cleaner, washing away excess food debris in the teeth and mouth as well as rinsing out the acids that are a byproduct of enzymes in the mouth that help us break down what we eat before we’re even finished eating it.
Water is a basic human necessity — we need it to live and use it for countless other purposes. In terms of dental health, water is similarly crucial. As with saliva, water helps to clean teeth, however water packs an extra punch as it has fluoride in it. Fluoride has the ability to help prevent tooth decay, is often utilized by dentists in a variety of applications, and has been added to our drinking supply for decades to promote dental health.
Dairy products such as milk and cheese are packed full of calcium, which helps to build strong teeth and strong bones. Moreover, many cheeses have casein. Casein is a protein which researchers and scientists believe is linked to the development and the repair of tooth enamel in conjunction with calcium. One study showed a possible
connection between eating cheese and decreased levels of acidic plaque.
Raisins contain phytochemicals, which research has suggested may be useful in eliminating plaque bacteria. The build up of these bacteria can lead to cavities and other dental health issues. Additionally, raisins may also be of use in retarding the development of bacteria linked to gum disease.
Strawberries are nature’s teeth whitener, a result of the malic acid within them. You can even fashion yourself an all-natural, homemade tooth whitener by brushing with mixture of crushed strawberries and baking soda.
Polyphenols are found in green and black teas. They are thought to help in fighting the growth of bacteria that can cause cavities as well as gum disease. Polyphenols are also a helpful resource in combating halitosis, also known as chronic bad breath.
Crunch Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, cucumbers, and celery are an excellent way to help scrub off plaque from your teeth and maintain fresher breath. They also have an added bonus, as chewing these foods helps increase saliva flow.
Cranberries also have polyphenols in them, which makes them valuable in helping to stop plaque from adhering and sticking to your teeth. This can help to prevent cavities though it’s important to eat fresh cranberries as opposed to dried berries that tend to have higher sugar levels.
Good home dental care is crucial to maintaining strong, healthy teeth, but including the foods listed above can also play a beneficial role in your dental health. This is not to say that any particular food can be a substitute for good oral hygiene practices, but in In order to take the best care of your teeth possible you may want to consider incorporating some of these foods into your diet along with maintaining good home care practices and making regular visits to the dentist. If you know it’s been a while since your last visit, go to drjohnsondds.com and schedule an appointment today.
Beckie Borchers is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and advice on a variety of issues that affect everyday life and the challenges faced by children and families.
Photo by Alex, sourced from Wikimedia Commons.