It’s no secret that your diet is a major component of good health. Functional foods have many benefits from boosting your brainpower to helping your heart, and they can also promote good oral health. Foods that are good for your teeth may help prevent cavities, strengthen enamel and reduce gum disease.
Consider chewing on these foods that are good for your teeth:
Fiber-rich vegetables: Vegetables are naturally lower in sugar and high in tons of body-loving nutrients. They also have lots of fiber so you’re required to do some hefty chomping and gnawing to eat them. The process of chewing creates more saliva that rinses plaque-forming bacteria away from your teeth. Plus, veggies like spinach and kale can scrub your teeth as you chew them and they contain calcium which has oral health benefits as well.
Apples, Carrots and Celery: Much like high-fiber vegetables, apples, carrots and celery take time and effort to chew. As you crunch away, your teeth are getting wiped down and you are stimulating your gums as well. Each of these foods is packed with water that helps rinse your teeth. Plus, apples, carrots and celery help remove food particles too.
Tea: Studies show that the polyphenols in black tea and green tea help reduce bacteria in the mouth and decrease plaque build-up on teeth. Tea contains natural fluoride too, which is nature’s enamel-strengthener.
Calcium-rich foods: Cheese, milk, yogurt, almonds and green leafy vegetables contain calcium that support strong bones and teeth. Your teeth need calcium to maintain their enamel. Calcium-rich foods can repair some of the damage caused by acidic foods. Also, milk and cheese help neutralize bacteria that causes plaque so drinking a glass or milk or a few bites of cheese after a sugary snack can be helpful.
Phosphorus-rich foods: Like calcium, phosphates combat lesions made by acidic foods by depositing nutrients back into the enamel. Stock up on eggs, chicken and meat to reap this benefit.
Strawberries: Start improving the color of your teeth with something sweet, like strawberries. Sure, they have a little natural sugar but that’s more than made up for by its concentration of malic acid that naturally whitens your teeth.
Consume these foods in moderation that are not so good for your teeth:
- Acidic citrus fruits
- Candy of any kind because it coats your teeth in sugar
- Soda and sports drinks also leave a sugary residue on teeth and have citric and phosphoric acids that erode enamel (yes, even diet versions have it)
- Wine, even white wine, contains acids that stain teeth. Red wine has tannins that, although healthy for other reasons, further contribute to stains.
- Coffee also stains teeth and leaves teeth sticky so food particles and plaque are more likely to linger
Sources: Health, Colgate and Live Science