Most people know that certain foods and drinks can be harmful to the overall health of your mouth and teeth. But what many people don’t know is that there are actually some foods and drinks that are beneficial to your teeth, working to keep the enamel strong and the surface white. What foods are these exactly? Here’s just a short list to try to incorporate into your daily diet to help keep your teeth healthy, strong and clean.
- Water: Water is the main component of saliva, and it is the last chance that your mouth has to wash away any food remnants that you’ve recently ingested. The consumption of water is important for the overall health of your entire body, but it’s especially important for oral health for these reasons. Aim to drink 8 glasses of at least 8 ounces of water every single day for optimum health.
- Sugarless Gum: Were your parents ever strict while you were growing up about chewing sugarless gum? If so, there was a reason for it. Chewing gum that’s loaded with sugar can actually be abrasive to your teeth, but sugarless gum can provide a number of oral health benefits. For starters, sugarless gum stimulates saliva production, helping to keep your mouth clean and fresh at all times throughout the day. On top of this, most sugarless gums use a sweetener called xylitol, which helps battle tooth decay.
- Mineral-Rich Foods: Foods that are high in Vitamins A, C and D that also contain high levels of phosphorous and calcium can do great things for your teeth. These foods may include fish, eggs, beef, spinach, potatoes, leafy greens, tofu, beans, poultry and whole grains.
- Nuts: Many nuts are packed with minerals and nutrients that are good for your teeth, including peanuts (which contain calcium and Vitamin D), almonds (with high levels of calcium that are great for both your teeth and gums), walnuts (which are loaded with helpful minerals) and cashews (which help stimulate saliva production to help keep your mouth clean).
- Dairy Products: Dairy is the major source of calcium in most diets, and calcium happens to be essential when it comes to healthy teeth because it helps strengthen tooth enamel, similarly to how it helps to strengthen bones. When it comes to dairy, cheese is particularly good for your teeth, as it contains a protein known as casein, which helps in stabilizing and even repairing tooth enamel.
- High-Fiber Fruits and Veggies: Most high-fiber fruits and vegetables take longer to chew, and thereby stimulate saliva production in the mouth. These foods act as a sort of detergent for the mouth, as well, because they scrub the teeth and help rinse out the mouth with the natural high water content. Foods in this category include crunchy, juicy fruits and vegetables, such as corn, beans, spinach, pears, artichokes, raspberries, peas, broccoli, apples and more.
- Strawberries: Strawberries themselves contain a natural enamel-whitening ingredient known as malic acid. If you want to maximize the whitening properties of strawberries, try mashing some up into a pulp and mixing in some baking soda. Scrub the mixture over your teeth, let it sit for 5 minutes, then brush it all away. Be sure to floss after a treatment like this, though, as strawberry seeds do easily get stuck between your teeth.
Keeping a glowing white, healthy smile can be as simple as eating the right kinds of foods and avoiding the wrong ones. If you’re still looking for extra care and whitening for your teeth, contact Robbie Smith, DDS to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified professionals!