Healthy teeth rely on great dental hygiene habits and expert treatment from your dentist. However, eating the right kinds of food can support their underlying strength for a brighter, happier smile. Here are seven of the best foods that bring better dental health.
Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, the basic building block of healthy teeth. But there’s another valuable benefit to be gained from this most versatile of dairy products.
Cheese works to increase saliva levels in your mouth, helping to restore a neutral balance between acidity and alkalinity, reducing the risks of decay. Surprisingly, this effect is stronger for tangy, highly acidic cheeses, as the high levels of lactic acid prompt a saliva overdrive, restoring a balance more quickly.
For the best results, eat a small piece of cheese right at the end of a meal, to start tackling acid levels when they’re at their most dangerous.
2) Live Yogurt
If cheese isn’t to your taste, you can get many of the same benefits from eating live, natural yogurt. It isn’t quite as powerful at balancing oral acids, but it has another strength which more than makes up for it.
Live yogurt is packed with probiotics, which can be thought of as ‘good’ bacteria to outnumber and overwhelm the ‘bad’ bacteria which cause decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
3) Raw Celery
Celery is another food that stimulates saliva production, helping to rebalance acidity and remove bacteria. However, celery has another strong dental health advantage.
Thanks to its high fiber content, chewing the vegetable raw actively cleans debris from your teeth, working even in the gaps between them, making later brushing and flossing more effective.
4) Green Tea
Because of its high levels of antimicrobial compounds known as catechins, green tea is an effective way of combating oral bacteria. This has benefits for reducing both decay and gum disease.
What’s more, this healthy drink’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce gum sensitivity, useful when treating the early stages of gingivitis before it turns into full-blown periodontitis.
Strawberries are rich in malic acid, a substance that works as a gentle enamel cleaner and whitener. Eating strawberries won’t suddenly give you a dazzling Hollywood smile, but it can slow down or even stop the natural staining that most people experience as the years pass.
However, be sure to brush your teeth soon after eating this highly sweet fruit, or the potential whitening benefits will be outweighed by the higher risk of decay.
6) Red Onions
Raw onions have strong antimicrobial properties which help to reduce bacteria levels in your mouth, and they can also lessen the inflammation of early gum disease.
Of course, not many people would enjoy chowing down on a full raw onion. However, a slice or two of sweeter red onion on your burger or sandwich will supply the benefits in a much less overpowering way.
7) Cashew Nuts
Lastly, most kinds of nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral vital for dental health, but cashews are one of the best sources of all. Even better, cashews also contain natural antibacterial agents which help slow down the buildup of decay-causing plaque.
There’s no miracle route to great dental health. Strong hygiene habits and the attention of a good dentist are key. But eating more of these foods will provide a solid foundation to build on, helping you toward a healthier, happier smile.