Health

Chew the Right Thing: Foods That Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Woman pointing at her white teethWhen it comes to your oral health, it can be hard to chew the right thing. While Americans are losing their sweet tooth, we still love to eat different kinds of food that aren’t necessarily good for the teeth.

Sure, brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist go a long way, but you should never underestimate the power of your diet. They’re the substances that your teeth come into contact with more than a toothbrush. The things you eat contribute to your oral health, with some more beneficial than others.

Some food stays in your teeth for a long time and forms plaque. Plaque leads to the formation of destructive bacteria which sticks in your teeth and damages them and your gums. According to Creekside Endodontics, an endodontic clinic in Lone Tree, Colorado, when bacteria enter the pulp or the soft tissue within the center of your tooth, the pulp may be infected, causing you great pain.

To avoid this, improve your diet and the health of your mouth by following this teeth-healthy food list.

Cheese

A 2013 study published in the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry found that 12 to 15-year-old kids who ate cheese had higher pH levels in their mouths than those who consumed yogurt and milk. This suggests that cheese protects teeth from cavities by prompting salivation, washing away food particles faster than normal.

Apples

Yes, an apple a day keeps the doctor—and now, even the cavities—away. Apples might be sweet, but they’re high in fiber and water. Chewing one produces more saliva in your mouth, rinsing away bacteria and food particles like cheese does.

Almonds

This nutty snack perfect for your salad or as an appetizer is a great source of calcium and protein. Almonds are also low in sugar and contain fat that helps lower your bad cholesterol. All of that makes almonds great for oral and overall health.

Yogurt

Like almonds, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, minerals that are great for your teeth. The bonus? Yogurt contains probiotics, the good kind of bacteria that crowd out cavity-causing ones. Consuming plain, sugar-free yogurt a few times a week is beneficial to your teeth and gum health.

Leafy Greens

Since the tooth enamel is made up of the mineral called calcium phosphate, it loves calcium-rich foods that fortify the teeth and protect tooth enamel. Green, leafy vegetables like kale are a great source of calcium. Whip up a bowl of green salad or make a smoothie with kale, yogurt, and banana for extra teeth protection.

Gum

Yes, chewing a gum does wonders for your teeth. Make sure you choose the sugarless one, though. The continuous chewing boosts saliva secretion, rinsing away bacteria. And, because you’re chewing sugarless gum, there is little to no sucrose on your mouth on which bacteria rely to produce plaque.

If you regularly eat these healthy foods, you may be able to observe a positive change, not just in your body, but in your teeth as well. And doesn’t that give you one more reason to smile?