We all know that sugar is bad for your oral health (and your overall health), but did you know that some foods are actually good for your teeth? Although they can’t replace the importance of brushing and flossing, they can help you out with the health of your mouth.
Sugar is bad for your teeth because it feeds bacteria within the mouth (plaque) that then sticks to the teeth, producing acids that eat away at the enamel on your tooth. So, foods that neutralize acids, stimulate the production of saliva (to wash help wash away bacteria), and provide vitamins or minerals that strengthen tooth enamel should be considered your ally.
We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but there may be some truth to it! While we recommend steering clear of most sweet food, there are some exceptions. Select veggies and fruits are full of fibre and water, which work to produce saliva in the mouth, and essentially rinse your mouth of bacteria and food particles. Their fibrous nature also acts as a physical scrubbing agent on your teeth. Although it’s not equivalent to brushing your teeth, they can be a great midday snack.
Examples: apples, carrots, celery
As your teeth are largely made up of calcium, it makes sense that calcium rich dairy products provide important minerals for the strength of your teeth. Without enough calcium in your diet, your teeth will be less resistant and at increased risk of tooth decay. If you’re vegan, there are plenty of calcium fortified products that can also supply calcium to your diet.
Examples: cheese, milk, yogurt (plain with no added sugar), soy milk
The combination of vitamins and minerals found in a variety of nuts can benefit both your teeth and gums. From calcium and vitamin D to iron and folic acid, nuts make for the perfect at work snack.
Examples: almonds, cashews, walnuts
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