We all know the secret to healthy teeth: brush regularly, floss regularly and keep sugars to a minimum. However, the food you eat can also play a part in maintaining a healthy mouth and, while no food will ever replace the need to brush, there are some that are surprisingly healthy for your teeth.
Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose or table sugar. Sugar helps bacteria stick to the tooth surface, letting them produce plaque. Raisins are also a source of phytochemicals, which may kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for good oral health, as it effectively allows your body to better absorb calcium and put it to good use throughout your body. Salmon is packed full of both Vitamin D and calcium, making it an all-round superfood for helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Carrots have been hailed a cavity-fighting vegetable, as munching on sticks of crunchy, raw carrot acts as a natural toothbrush. The chewing action massages your gums, and this bright vegetable is high in plaque-attacking keratin as well as Vitamin A, which is crucial for strengthening delicate tooth enamel. All-in-all it’s a good choice for an in-between-meal snack.
Cheese is great for your teeth. Not only does it have high levels of phosphate and calcium, which naturally strengthen teeth and bones, but it also helps balance the pH level in your mouth, which means less harmful acid, more cleansing saliva and fewer cavities.
Unsweetened natural yoghurt makes a great healthy breakfast or snack. For the benefit of your teeth, yoghurt contains both casein and calcium, which strengthen enamel and help repair it if it happens to be damaged.
6. Sesame seeds
Eating sesame seeds on their own, or baked into bread will help you in two ways. First of all, as you chew, they help to scrub plaque from your teeth and, secondly, they’re high in calcium. Just make sure any seeds caught between your teeth are removed as soon as possible.
Raw onion is incredibly healthy for you, and as an added bonus, the antibacterial sulphur compounds contained in onion will kill the harmful bacteria on your teeth. But you might want to chew gum afterwards!
Celery gives your teeth a great workout. As you chew celery, it helps to clean your teeth and massages your gums in the process, while all that chewing will also produce plenty of salivae to neutralise bacteria.
Apples are highly acidic and you could be forgiven for thinking that would weaken the enamel on your teeth. However, the natural sugars contained within apples actually help neutralise harmful acids in the mouth. As well as this, chewing apples is another good mouth workout for saliva production, and they’re packed with vitamins to keep your gums healthy.
Strawberries are sweet, acidic and tend to stain things red, so how can they possibly be good for your teeth? Strawberries contain malic acid, which is actually a good natural whitener for enamel – eating strawberries will actually help keep your teeth free of stains. Just be mindful that strawberry seeds can get stuck between your teeth, so make sure you floss after eating them.
During your next visit to Kew Dental, feel free to discuss your diet with Dr Michael McIntyre. He will be able to advise you on whether the foods and snacks you eat are harmful to your oral health.