Nearly 100% of American adults have some form of tooth decay.
This leads to discomfort or even pain in many individuals and discourages confidence due to unappealing teeth. While regular brushing and flossing are great practices for daily mouth hygiene, the effects of these actions are extremely short-lived.
In order to keep your teeth clean with brushing alone, you would need to have a brush on hand after each meal or snack and every sip. This is both incredibly unrealistic and hard on your teeth. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the power of your saliva to rinse your teeth of bacteria and keep your mouth healthy and fresh.
So how can you encourage your mouth’s natural cleaning and maintain healthy teeth? Follow along to learn the best foods to support your mouth health and which ones to avoid.
How Does Food Affect Your Teeth?
In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums, you’ll need to supply your body with essential nutrients to encourage body functions. Your body is incredibly intelligent and resilient, but without the proper tools, it won’t be able to carry out its tasks.
The consumption of certain food delivers those vitamins for healthy teeth and encourages your mouth to rinse away bacterias with saliva production.
However, some foods actually disable this natural cleaning process and can eat away at your tooth’s enamel. This opens up an opportunity for tooth decay like cavities and unsightly stains.
What to Eat to Keep Your Teeth Clean
While all food and drink consumption has an impact on your pearly whites, there are certain choices that deliver more benefits than others. Snacking on this food for healthy teeth will ensure you have the best chance of maintaining beautiful teeth and gums.
Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt all encourage an increase in the amount of saliva your body produces. This increase means that the bacteria buildup on the tooth’s surface will be rinsed away more frequently.
The high amount of calcium in dairy promotes stronger teeth and bones while the presence of protein encourages a strong system. Some products such as yogurt also contain helpful probiotics and good bacterias that facilitate a better breakdown of foods. This aids in leaving fewer particles behind on your teeth and encourages healthy digestion.
If you have a sensitivity to dairy or prefer to avoid the animal product, calcium-fortified alternatives such as coconut yogurt and almond milk will have similar effects for healthy teeth.
Those green leafs such as kale, spinach, and lettuce deliver an amazing hit of essential vitamins and minerals. This helps you maintain healthy teeth by building up enamel. This is the protective layer on your teeth that keeps them strong.
With a plethora of calcium, folic acid, and vitamin B, getting your greens in is a sure-fire way to stay healthy and strong.
Apples and Pears
Both apples and pears have a lower level of sugars and increase that valuable saliva production. These fruits contain dietary fiber that is imperative for a healthy body and in turn, a healthy mouth.
Much on these sweet substitutes when your sweet tooth rears up. You’ll be fueling your body with vital nutrients and ensuring healthy teeth and gums.
Carrots and Celery
Both carrots and celery act as an edible toothbrush for your pearly whites. These foods are tough to break down and require extra chewing to digest. Since they are quite hard, the chewing motion actually allows the food to scrub the surface of the teeth and wash away plaque.
In addition, both of these options as well as vegetables like cucumber and tomato have high water content. This assists your saliva in giving your mouth a good rinse.
Protein is essential to keep your body strong and running efficiently. When it comes to what to eat for your teeth, aim for lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, or tofu for vegetarians.
These sources contain phosphorus in addition to their high protein content and aid your body in maintaining an optimal state.
Although fats have gotten a bad reputation in the dieting world, the inclusion of healthy fats in your diet is vital for your organs. Foods like nuts encourage stronger nails, hair, skin, and yes, teeth.
Nuts such as almonds are also a great source of calcium, protein, and minerals.
What you drink is just as important as what you eat. If you are in the mood for a flavored drink, opt for herbal or green teas. These drinks include plaque fighting ingredients that can boost your chances of washing away those pesky bacterias.
Water is the liquid of life. This magic fluid is the key to keeping your body and all of its systems running in tip-top shape.
Alongside many amazing benefits to drinking water is its ability to flush away stagnant food particles, rehydrate your gums, and keep your teeth healthy and clean. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day to ensure a happy body and mouth.
Foods to Avoid
While nutrient-rich and fibrous foods elevate your system, there are also options that take away from your health. Most of these foods are widely known to be poor dietary choices for weight and organ function, but these snacks can actually damage your teeth as well.
Candy and Sweets
The excessive consumption of sugar is a recipe for cavities. Sugary treats like candy, cake, or cookies are difficult for your mouth to wash away due to their sticky nature.
This means the sugar will remain on the surface of your teeth for longer and chew away at your enamel.
Chips and Crackers
Similar to sweets, these high-fat and low-nutrient snacks have a tendency to stay in the teeth much longer than necessary. If you’re after a crunchy texture, opt for those teeth-brushing carrot and celery options or choose vegetable crisps like oven-baked kale instead.
While the debate about coffee carries on, the truth is, the high acidity of this beverage can stain your teeth over time. If you enjoy sipping on warm drinks throughout the day, give green tea a try and reduce the appearance of those yellow stains.
Soda and Sugary Juices
It comes as no surprise that soda and juice aren’t a great drink option for your teeth or your general health. The carbonation in soda and the added sugar in juice work to break down your enamel and cause decay.
Avoid these beverages or keep them to a minimum, reaching for water to hydrate instead.
Promote Healthy Teeth and Gums
Now that you know the best and worst foods to eat to keep your teeth clean, you can get on your way to a healthier mouth. From strengthening your enamel to rinsing away plaque, incorporate these choices in your daily diet for a beautiful smile.
Ready to master the art of clean teeth and boost your overall health? Discover our top tips for proper teeth cleaning now and double up your clean-mouth efforts.