Throughout our lives (especially as children), we are told what type of foods to avoid to make sure we have healthy teeth. What we don’t usually hear about are the foods that are good for our teeth! Sure we know to drink milk for the calcium for strong teeth and bones, but there has to be something else, right? What if you don’t like, or can’t drink milk? The good news is there are other foods that can improve your mouth health. Some of them may surprise you!
The five foods that contribute to having healthy teeth are:
- Strawberries – this delicious red fruit has a rather unexpected effect on your teeth. Even though it is red, it can actually whiten your teeth! How? It contains malic acid, which is a natural teeth whitener.
- Dark chocolate – chocolate is not usually considered a healthy food. However, there are different types of chocolate. Milk and white chocolate are full of sugar. If it is by itself, cocoa is actually bitter! Adding minimal amounts of sweetener to cocoa will create dark chocolate. Containing tannins and antioxidants – dark chocolate can actually prevent the growth of bacteria. It also has a chemical called theobromine that can harden tooth enamel. Dark chocolate also has health benefits for your heart!
- Artificial sweetener – we’ve talked before about how certain artificial sweeteners can benefit your mouth health. The chemical is called xylitol, and not all artificial sweeteners contain it, so it’s important to read the ingredients. Xylitol can actually inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth, more specifically, the bacteria that causes cavities. The way to get the most benefits from this artificial sweetener is from sugar free gums. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production which can loosen food particles, neutralize acids, and remineralize your teeth.
- Cheese – we all know that milk is good for your teeth. And cheese is a byproduct of milk! Loaded with calcium, cheese is a great food to eat for your mouth health. It also normalizes the ph, or acidity, of your mouth, by neutralizing acid.
- Kale – like cheese, kale is a great source of calcium. What is unique about kale is that you have to chew it a lot! This has the same bonus for your teeth that sugar free gums do! The excess saliva production loosens food particles and neutralizes acid in your mouth.
Having healthy teeth is one of the best things you can do for your health. Because gum disease can contribute to heart disease, it’s important to take very good care of your teeth and mouth. Brushing and flossing daily, and having regular dental check-ups are the best things you can do for your teeth. Give us a call if you want to schedule a cleaning with Dr. Chauvin!