Simple sugar is the enemy of your teeth—you know that. So you do your best to avoid the usual suspects such as candies, cookies and soft drinks that can serious oral health damage. You’re also aware that it’s not only sweet treats that can cause tooth decay. Breads, bananas, cereals can contain fermentable carbohydrates, which are bacteria’s best friend when it comes to triggering acids that erode the tooth enamel.
It’s clear that if you want to maintain vigilant care and protection for your gums and pearly whites, you should be prepared to be armed with a list of food items to say no to, no matter how tempting they are or how much you are craving them.
But here’s the good news: There are also lots of delicious, affordable and nutritious types of food that have been proven to be good for your smile. Depending on their texture, nutrients and composition, these foods help with oral care protection through various means—by encouraging saliva production and flow, by acting as a buffer or neutralizer against acids, or by simply acting as cleaning or deodorizing agents.
If you want to know what to eat to improve your oral health, check out the following list:
- Acid busters: Milk, cheese and other dairy products neutralize acids.
- Bacteria fighter: Onion in raw form is antibacterial. (Just don’t expect it to freshen your breath!)
- For stronger teeth and healthy growth: Protein and protein-rich food help in building and repairing truth structure.
- Toothbrush alternatives: Celery, apples, carrots and other fruits and veggies with a “crunch” can increase saliva flow and freshen your mouth.
- Detoxifier: Green tea is known for toxin-fighting abilities. Plus, it’s packed with fluoride which is also proven to strengthen teeth enamel.
- Surprise ingredient: Wasabi isn’t only great for sushi. It can work wonders for your oral health, too, because of its ability to suffocate and kill bacteria in your teeth.
- Underrated good-doer: Drinking water several times a day and rinsing your mouth with water are the cheapest, easiest ways to do some emergency housecleaning in your mouth area.
Poor nutrition leads to poor dental health. Thus, the simple practice of eating well according to recommended dietary guidelines is essential to achieving better oral health. So start today and fill half your plate up with fruits and vegetables (especially the dark green, leafy kind), add some grains, nuts and seeds, and enjoy a healthy mix of protein, fish and good fats for overall health and well-being that will make your smile lovelier than ever.