We recently looked at 7 foods that can cause tooth decay but thankfully not all foods are bad for your teeth. Some foods can actually be good for your teeth and help to protect them. The challenge for many of us is to ensure we eat more of these good foods and less of the bad foods. Easier said than done in most occasions, but below we take a look at 5 foods that can help protect tooth enamel and contribute to a good level of dental health.
5 Foods that your teeth are happy to deal with
Strawberries like most fruit and veg can be great for your teeth. Strawberries are a super fruit that bring many health benefits to your body including added fibre and promoting eye and bone health. Strawberries are also a good source of potassium and malic acid. Malic acid is a natural enamel whiter that can help give you a whiter smile. While it will not get you the same results as teeth whitening (very little will), crush strawberries to a pulp, add it to baking soda and spread on your teeth. Brush it off and rinse with water.
2. Green vegetables
Green vegetables like spinach, green beans, Brussel sprouts and peas are great for your food because they are high in fibre. High fibre foods are great for your teeth because they require more chewing to break them down. This chewing helps to create saliva which plays a big role in protecting your teeth against tooth decay. Try to add green vegetables to your diet. Other high fibre foods include dried fruits like dates, raisins and apricots.
3. Milk and cheese
It’s not only your bones that need calcium but also your teeth. Calcium is a key component in helping to strengthen teeth enamel as it is a key ingredient in hydroxyapatite. Dairy products like milk and cheese are the best way to add calcium to your diet and as calcium plays such a big role in helping fight tooth decay, be sure to add dairy to your diet. If you can’t take dairy produce, foods like kale, broccoli and figs are a great source of calcium.
Water can act much like saliva and be a great way to protect your teeth from decay by washing away sugars and acid that build up on teeth over time. Water is also a good source of fluoride and fluoride is something that also helps to protect your teeth. It is recommended that you consume around 2 litres of water a day. This will help improve your dental health with the added fluoride. Try to drink a glass of water with a meal and be sure to use fluoride based toothpaste morning and night.
5. Sugar-free chewing gum
Last on our list is sugar-free chewing gum and it’s important to ensure you opt for sugar-free gum. As we’ve already identified, saliva is naturally produced in your mouth to help wash away sugar and acids left over from bad foods. Chewing gum helps to stimulate this saliva and certain sugar-free gums will also contain calcium and phosphate, two minerals that further help strengthen your teeth. Chew sugar-free gum between meals if you aren’t able to wash your teeth or access mouthwash.
Remember the importance of fibre and calcium for your teeth
These are just some of the foods that can help you maintain a better level of dental health. As a general rule, foods that are high in fibre and calcium are much better for your food than those high in sugars and carbohydrates. Getting as much fruit and vegetable into your diet will not only benefit your teeth but also the rest of your body. Maintaining a balanced diet and a good level of general health and fitness will also benefit your teeth.