woman with perfect teeth biting green apple

7 foods that are good for your teeth

On top of brushing and flossing, having strong healthy teeth starts from within. Eating sugary or acidic foods and fizzy drinks forms plaque which eventually wears away the enamel that covers our teeth. This causes tooth decay and creates holes called cavities. So, if you’re after a gleaming smile it makes sense to pay attention to what you put on your plate. But what foods actually do your teeth some good? Check out our list of tooth-friendly foods that belong in your fridge.

1. Apples


Although avoiding sugary foods minimises the risk of tooth decay, it doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to every single treat. They may be deliciously sweet but apples also pack a punch of fibre that stimulates saliva production in your mouth. This increase in saliva helps to wash away leftover food particles and bacteria which might also help keep gum disease at bay.

2. Celery


Not just a low-calorie snack, this fibrous vegetable helps keep teeth healthy. Crunching away on celery stalks massages the gums and loosens food particles and bacteria from between the teeth. The chewing action also produces saliva which helps to clean teeth and prevents bacteria build-up. Celery is also a good source of vitamin C which contributes to the normal maintenance of teeth.

3. Cheese

According to a study[1] published by the Academy of General Dentistry, eating cheese could help lower the risk of tooth decay. It’s believed that chomping on cheddar cheese increases saliva production in the mouth which could prevent cavities from developing. Let’s not forget that cheese is also one of the richest sources of calcium which is needed for the maintenance of normal teeth. It’s also thought that cheese may protect tooth enamel from acid which wears away at the teeth.

4. Chewing gum

Unlike gum that contains sugar, chewing sugar free gum 20 minutes after eating could combat tooth decay and help keep teeth strong. Research studies[2] show that gum chewing increases saliva flow which reduces tooth decay from the foods we eat and strengthens teeth. However, because sugar gradually weakens tooth enamel and leads to cavities, it’s best avoided. Instead, sugar free gum containing natural sweeteners like Xylitol may provide the benefits of gum chewing without the harmful effects of sugar.

5. Yoghurt


A rich source of calcium and protein, yoghurt may help protect teeth and keep them healthy in the process. Start your day with some plain yogurt and muesli for a fibre and protein-packed breakfast. Of course, avoid yogurts with added sugar which can contribute to tooth decay.

6. Water


Water not only flows free from your tap and is calorie-free, it also keeps you hydrated and boosts your saliva levels. As you may be aware by now, your saliva protects you from tooth decay and helps fight cavities. Choose water over fruit juice or sugar-laden fizzy drinks which don’t do your teeth much good in the long run.

7. Strawberries

Full of vitamin C, strawberries also contain malic acid which has been used as a home remedy to whiten teeth. Whilst this juicy fruit’s tooth whitening abilities haven’t been proven, research[3] has shown that eating a few strawberries may make teeth seem whiter because they may remove plaque and food debris.

Taking care to avoid certain foods and including others in your diet can make a big difference when you want a shiny, healthy smile and good dental health.

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Sources

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130118.htm [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9479811 [3] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Meharry/publication/266578291_Efficacy_of_Do-It-Yourself_Whitening_as_Compared_to_Conventional_Tooth_Whitening_Modalities_An_In_Vitro_Study/links/547c8d0a0cf27ed9786151f7.pdf
Dental Health Nutrition