Did you know there are certain foods you can consume that will help you maintain a healthier mouth? The truth is there are several common food items that promote oral health, and odds are that right now you have most of them in your home! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite food options you can use to help supplement your regular brushing and flossing in order to maintain a healthy smile.
- Apples & Oranges – Apples and oranges are great for more than just keeping your body healthy. They increase saliva production in the mouth which helps prevent cavities. You’ll want to be careful of the high sugar content and acidity levels though, so consume them as part of your meal and only brush at least a half-hour after you finish.
- Cheeses – Just like apples and oranges, cheese is another great way to increase saliva production in your mouth. The calcium and phosphates found in cheeses will also help neutralize acids which harm teeth.
- Cranberries – Cranberries are a great source of polyphenols (antioxidants), which can help lower the risk of cavities by reducing the chances of plaque sticking to your teeth. Just be mindful of the sugar levels in some of the varieties.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate helps your mouth in several ways. These include preventing tooth decay and erosion by fighting inflammation of the gums, reducing plaque and acid production, and promoting blood circulation to the gums. Coat your cranberries with dark chocolate for a nice treat that really benefits your oral health, but enjoy in moderation of course.
- Milk – We’re all familiar with the slogan that milk “does a body good.” It also is great at neutralizing acid levels in your mouth, as well as strengthening and repairing tooth enamel.
- Nuts – Depending on your nut of choice, there are several beneficial vitamins and minerals you get from this snack.
- Almonds – These contain high levels of calcium, which helps prevent periodontal disease. They also strengthen teeth and bones, as well as help your teeth and gums.
- Cashews – These help stimulate saliva which helps prevent cavities.
- Peanuts – Peanuts are great sources of calcium and vitamin D. As you learned with almonds, this helps prevent periodontal disease and strengthens teeth and bones.
- Walnuts – These nuts contain good amounts of various vitamins and minerals that all benefit your teeth, including fiber, vitamins B6 & E, potassium, and more.
- Raisins – Research has suggested that the phytochemicals found in raisins may kill plaque bacteria, or the bacteria that leads to cavities. Raisins also affect the growth of the bacteria that is associated with gum disease.
- Sugarless Gums – Chewing gum after meals can help protect teeth and gums. Not only does it increase saliva production and wash away acids, but it also strengthens tooth enamel, dislodges food that may be stuck, as well helps prevent tooth decay. You’ll want to select a sugarless gum that includes the ingredient Xylitol, since this is an active, natural sweetener that helps neutralizes pH levels in your mouth.
- Tea – Obviously sweet tea isn’t a good option for your oral health, but unsweetened, green, and black teas are all good options for you. Like cranberries, green and black teas contain polyphenols, which kill or fight bacteria in your mouth. Teas prevent some bad bacteria from clumping together, and can fight bad breath.
- Water – Water should always be the beverage of choice since it doesn’t contain the sugars and sweeteners other options do that may harm your teeth. It not only hydrates your gums to help prevent decay and strengthen tooth enamel, but it may also wash away food particles that tend to stick around after meals.
- Yogurt – Non-fat, plain yogurt provides your body with an excellent source of protein and calcium, both of which are good for your mouth.
As you can see there are many food options that benefit your oral health. You’ll want to be careful with a few of them since they can also have negative effects if not used in moderation, but overall this list will be a benefit to your teeth and gums.