Every morning, you carefully floss and brush your teeth. You do everything you can to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong, and you always attend your semi-annual dental checkup to ensure everything looks great.
But to keep your mouth in the best condition, you should consume the right foods and drinks. Below, we’ll address nine foods that naturally clean, protect, and strengthen your teeth.
1. Animal Proteins
If you love yourself a good steak, you’re in luck. Animal proteins, such as beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs, contain phosphorus, which helps strengthen teeth and bone. When phosphorus is paired with calcium, it’s even more effective, giving your teeth an extra boost. Don’t be afraid to reach for another piece of chicken and a second helping of salmon.
2. Leafy Greens
With leafy greens being so good for your body, it’s no wonder they’re great for your teeth and gums too. Some greens have calcium, which can strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Leafy greens also have folic acid, which is a type of vitamin B. Folic acid can keep your gums healthy and fend off disease. Try slipping some kale into your morning smoothie, or throw a little spinach on your pizza.
3. Vegetables and Fruits
A bite of a crisp apple can be refreshing, but that apple also has numerous dental benefits. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, apples, and carrots, can clean plaque off your teeth. Some fruits and veggies, such as celery and apples, encourage saliva production, ridding your mouth of plaque. Next time you need a snack, reach for fresh, crunchy vegetables and fruits.
If you’re fond of cranberries, cranberries can actually keep quite a bit of plaque off your teeth. Cranberries have polyphenols, which prevent excessive plaque buildup. However, you’ll want to avoid sugary cranberry drinks or foods because the sugar can counteract the berries’ benefits.
4. Milk, Yogurt, and Other Dairy Products
Experts say a glass of milk is good for your teeth, and it’s actually true. Dairy products like milk and yogurt contain calcium to further fortify your teeth’s enamel. Dairy products are also known to reduce acidity in the mouth, giving your teeth added protection against damage.
Yogurt can be especially beneficial for your teeth. It contains probiotics that help fight off gum disease. Yogurt leaves good bacteria in the gums to fend off the bad ones. However, like cranberries, be sure to avoid sugary yogurts.
Like other dairy products, cheese has protein and calcium to strengthen your enamel. While dairy can cut acid levels in the mouth, cheese is even more effective. It can stick to the teeth and further protect enamel from damaging acidity.
Green and black teas contain polyphenols, just like leafy greens. This compound helps prevent plaque from clumping up and collecting on the teeth, creating something of a barrier and freshening the breath. Next time you curl up with a good book, try sipping on a warm cup of green or black tea.
7. Seeds and Nuts
If you’re not one for dairy products, you can also get some calcium from nuts and seeds. When you crunch on a handful of pumpkin seeds or cashews, the rough nature of the nuts and seeds can scrape plaque off the teeth. Sesame seeds and almonds are two great sources of calcium.
8. Whole Grains
When you munch on a bran muffin or a whole grain piece of toast, you’re not only doing your body a favor but you’re also boosting your oral health. Whole grains contain iron and vitamin B, which keep your gums in excellent shape. They also have magnesium that helps your teeth better absorb calcium for stronger enamel.
Whole grains of all kinds can also help you produce more saliva, washing away any plaque and bacteria.
Reach for a whole grain bagel in the morning or choose brown rice instead of white rice.
Staying hydrated is important, but drinking water can also wash away bacteria and plaque like saliva does, helping prevent decay and cavities. Water also keeps your gums hydrated. Drink water throughout the day to continually rinse out harmful bacteria.
Eating healthy can help your teeth and gums stay strong and clean. Opt for vitamin-enriched, fibrous foods instead of sweets or refined grains. Staying away from sugary foods can keep your mouth clear of excessive plaque, bacteria, and acids that could further damage your teeth and gums.
To keep your mouth in optimal condition, take a trip to your dentist every six months. At All About Smiles, we’ll take good care of your teeth, and if we spot a problem, we’ll recommend the best treatment for the situation. If you have any questions about which foods you should eat or avoid, we can provide the answers you’re looking for.