You are what you eat! So when your diet is unhealthy, your oral health is amongst the first to suffer.
Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it's the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process.
We have come up with a list of 10 superfoods that will strengthen your teeth and keep your mouth healthy!
While dentists recommend steering clear of most sweet foods, there are some exceptions. Fruits, such as apples, might be sweet, but they're also high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Snacking on apple slices gives your teeth a good scrubbing
2) Carrots and celery
Like apples, these are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots and celery at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Dip in some cream cheese or yoghurt dip for a yummy treat!
If you were looking for an excuse to eat that cheese guilt-free, this is the perfect one! Studies show that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It's thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
4) Milk and Yogurt
Milk and yogurt is high in calcium, Vitamin D and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. The bad news is that flavored milk and yogurt is high in sugar content, so an unflavored variety is always preferable.
5) Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale)
Your teeth and gums love super healthy leafy greens. They're full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They're high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel. They also contain folic acid that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet mix it into a yummy smoothie!
Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Almond meal is also a great gluten free substitute for cakes and bakes.
7) Cranberries (fresh)
Rich in polyphenols (just like tea), which keeps plaque at bay, thus lowering the risk of cavities. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation by interrupting the bonding of bacteria.
Garlic does more than keep away vampires. The allicin that is contained in garlic has strong antimicrobial properties . So, it helps you fight tooth decay and especially periodontal disease. Garlic breath however, will also keep your friends and family away!
If you want perfect teeth, you better love strawberries! They are packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and also malic acid, which could even naturally whiten your teeth.
Xylitol is a sugar alternative worth knowing about. It is a natural sugar alcohol commonly used as a sweetener for chewing gum, toothpaste and food. It’s considered to be decay-preventative because the bacteria that cause cavities can’t use Xylitol to grow. This makes it an ideal sweetener. Beyond sweetening, the decay-preventative effects of xylitol make sugar-free gums and mints a smart addition to your oral care routine. There are even studies suggesting xylitol can prevent glaucoma and ear infections and is proven safe for diabetics. Just remember, Xylitol is NOT dog-friendly! So artificially sweetened foods should not be offered to pets.