Certain foods, like sweets and fizzy drinks, are often cited as bad for the teeth. However, it’s not always so obvious what foods actually benefit the teeth. Consider adding these to your diet…
“What’s up, Doc?” It’s surprising that Bugs Bunny couldn’t just see for himself, given the eyesight-friendly carrots he kept eating. The strong supply in vitamin A in those carrots probably also helped to keep his teeth in good shape for even more carrot-munching.
As for how you should eat carrots, try a handful of them raw as you finish a meal, Colgate advocates. This habit can boost your mouth’s saliva production and so lower your risk of cavities.
Eating cheese could make it easier for you to “say cheese”, too, as this dairy food can help to keep your teeth in a condition worth photographing. That’s because cheese, too, can stimulate saliva production in the mouth, at least according to a theory underpinned by research.
In a study published in the journal General Dentistry in 2013, eating cheese was found to increase the pH level in participants’ mouths and so help to guard against tooth decay.
Cheese is also worth considering due to its high concentrations of calcium and protein, with their abilities to strengthen tooth enamel. These nutrients are also abundant in another dairy favourite, yoghurt – as are probiotics, otherwise known as beneficial bacteria.
That good bacteria can, in the mouth, overwhelm “bad” bacteria and so prove another worthwhile weapon in your fight against cavity risk. Choose a plain, zero-sugar yoghurt to maximise the returns.
As a general rule, sweet foods bode ill for your teeth. Still, there are some such foods where, for those teeth, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Those foods include apples on account of their high levels of fibre and water. Eating an apple can stimulate saliva that “rinses” food particles away.
This quality doesn’t quite make apple-eating a straight substitute for teeth brushing. Nonetheless, you would do well to snack on an apple or slices of one once you’ve finished a hearty meal.
In July 2013, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a study testifying to key benefits of consuming milk. In the study, a team led by Christine D Wu, a researcher at the Chicago-based University of Illinois, found that milk could effectively reduce acid levels in the mouth.
“Milk neutralises some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria,” Wu explained as quoted by Live Science, but warned that this benefit did not apply with “syrupy and sweet” milk added to cereal.
Though another example of a food that is sweet, raisins are naturally so – meaning that they don’t include either sucrose or table sugar. If they did contain such sugar, it would lead the bacteria to adhere to the tooth’s surface and generate plaque.
Raisins are also rich in phytochemicals, which have been credited with the potential ability to kill plaque bacteria capable of causing cavities.
While you shouldn’t go as far as packing a stick of celery in place of a toothbrush in your travel bag, this veggie can scrape food particles and bacteria from your teeth as you nibble away. Celery also contains vitamin C, a contributor to teeth maintenance, says Holland & Barrett.
If you are in the camp deeming celery an overly bland-tasting food, consider adding cream cheese to make it more palatable. If all of this advice has come a little too late for you, and your teeth already show damage, then treatment like teeth bonding from Ten Dental could be just what you need.
Edwin Owusu-Peprah has a keen interest in fitness and nutrition and is always on the look-out for new, healthy foods to eat as he goes to the gym almost every day and eats a balanced diet. He is also sensitive about his teeth and always wants to find new delicious healthy foods for his teeth to enjoy.