The 14 surprising foods that are great for teethMarch 9, 2020 11:49 am
We all know that to keep teeth and gums in great condition, we need to eat well. That includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, and avoiding bad stuff like processed foods, sugar and fizzy drinks. However, there are a few foods out there that might surprise you in the health-giving benefits they offer for teeth and gums. Read on to find out what they are – and eat them guilt-free!
- Cheese and dairy
Famously bad for your waistline, these options offer great health benefits for your teeth. Milk and dairy contains calcium, strengthening teeth, as well as phosphates, which help teeth naturally repair any damage caused by acid-producing bacteria. Milk also lowers the pH level of the mouth. Finally, all dairy items contains casein, a protein that also helps repair tooth enamel.
- Dark chocolate
This sweet treat is high in polyphenols, which may slow bacteria growth – helping your teeth stay free of plaque. Be sure to choose bars at 85% and above for the best health benefits. And, keep it to a small amount, as dark chocolate does still contain sugar – which is bad for teeth.
Though acidic, oranges also contain vitamin C – which can reduce inflammation in gums and protect them against disease. However, be sure to eat them in moderation, otherwise the acid could damage teeth more then they benefit. Also, avoid orange juice and instead opt for whole fruit, where the fibre helps slow the sugar absorption to a sensible level.
Another acidic fruit – but this time the acid works in your teeth’s favour. Strawberries contains malic acid, which has a natural whitening effect. Strawberries also contain vitamin C and manganese, an antioxidant which helps the body absorb calcium. Don’t eat too many though, as strawberries are also high in natural sugar.
These are a rare non-acidic fruit! This means pears are good for neutralising acid in the mouth produced by plaque – thereby reducing damage to teeth.
Not technically a food, tea contains polyphenols. The side effect of tea however is that it can stain teeth, especially if taken without milk – so drink in moderation! Surprisingly, tea also contains fluoride, which helps keep teeth strong
Like tea, these contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps your teeth defend themselves against decay-causing bacteria. Fresh cranberries are particularly effective.
- Leafy vegetables
This type of veggie is high in fibre, which offers lots of chewing action – generating saliva, a natural mouthwash. Chewing helps clear all kinds of food out of the mouth, and helps neutralise acid produced by bacteria. Spinach, broccoli and kale are all good options.
This fibrous vegetable is the very best natural toothbrush. It stimulates more saliva production, which helps rinse any bad stuff away from teeth
These natural toothbrushes help clean teeth through the crunchy chewing action! The crunch removes plaque from the tooth surface, keeping decay at bay. They have a high water content which also helps keep the mouth pH level neutral. They also contain vitamin A which is good for teeth.
Raisins contain phytochemicals, which may help kill bacteria in the mouth. They also contain antioxidants. Again, be sure to eat in moderation, as raisins do contain natural sugar – which bacteria in your mouth can convert to decay-causing acid.
Garlic contains allicin, an antibacterial agent that helps fight tooth decay.
Fish is naturally high in phosphates, and also contains vitamin D, which helps the absorption of calcium. Halibut, salmon, tuna and cod are all good options. If you can find it, wild salmon is the best. If you don’t like fish at all, then lean poultry is a good alternative.
- Nuts and seeds
While most of us know these are good for general health, they are also high in phosphorous and calcium which are both great for teeth. Avoid roasted or salted varieties and stick to raw options.
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