The foods we eat can cause the greatest amount of harm to our teeth and gums. Candy, acidic foods, sugary treats – all these wear away at your enamel and feed the bacteria that creates cavities. But just as there are foods that are bad for your teeth, there are also a range of foods that benefit your teeth with natural cleaning abilities.
While these foods cannot replace a regular brushing and flossing routine, they are a great way to augment your dental health, especially if you eat them after a harmful food. Many of the foods that clean your teeth are also good for your overall health – an added benefit that helps increase the value they bring to your routine.
Beneficial Foods for Your Teeth
Most of the foods that naturally clean teeth are fruits and vegetables. There are a few reasons for this. First, fruits and vegetables contain fiber. As you chew, the fiber moves against your teeth similar to a toothbrush, scrubbing at debris and plaque.
Most produce naturally contains some acid, so not all fruits are ideal for teeth cleaning. Fruits high in acid like citrus or tomatoes can be harmful in large quantities. But fruits and vegetables with less acidity, however, are helpful. The small amount of acid kills off bacteria and helps maintain a healthy pH in your mouth, while the fiber continues to clean teeth.
Finally, many fruits and vegetables have a high water content, and chewing on them also promotes saliva production. The additional water and saliva cleans and washes away bacteria, giving it less time to sit on the surface of your teeth and cause decay.
When choosing foods to keep your teeth healthy, the top choices include:
- Spinach, Kale, and Lettuce
Cheese is another food, when eaten in moderation, that can help with teeth. Rather than cleaning your teeth, cheese includes casein which helps prevent cavities. It also minimizes the acidity in foods that can wear through enamel.
Besides their cleaning ability, these foods also contain vitamins and minerals that are valuable for your teeth. Vitamin B and calcium can help keep teeth strong and fight gingivitis. Incorporating these foods into your diet leads to a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.
Finally, though not a food, consider sugarless gum. Gum stimulates saliva, which helps keep teeth healthy, and can pull out stuck in foods from between teeth as you chew. It is a great way to put something in your mouth that is tasty and useful for keeping teeth healthy.
Care for Your Teeth with Diet and Dentistry
A good diet is an essential part of a healthy dental routine. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings are also a must. For dental care in Salinas, CA, Dr. Mark Washburn can help you combine healthy dental practices and healthy diet. We also offer preventative dentistry to identify problems early, including those from damaging foods, so we can ensure your teeth stay healthy.