The food that you eat can (very literally) make or break your teeth. A proper diet is a major contributor to great oral health. Dental Associations and organizations around the world have recommended these six foods and drinks to improve your diet as well as your oral health.
As children, we were told that drinking milk would make our teeth healthy and strong. This is entirely true. Just 1 cup of milk provides almost 300 milligrams of calcium. The calcium along with the phosphorous in milk strengthens and repairs tooth enamel that has dissolved due to acid. Milk also helps to fight tooth decay. While drinking sweetened milk may not have the same effect, drinking milk after eating a sweet dessert, like chocolate cake, may protect teeth, too.
Millions of people in the world love cheese and oral hygiene actually provides a reason to eat it. Cheese contains both calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese has also been found to raise the pH in your mouth, which means less harmful acid, more cleansing saliva, and a lowered risk of tooth decay.
Carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots or enjoy some baby carrots on their own.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens will also make it onto any healthy foods list. Greens such as kale and spinach are high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel. They also contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet, add a handful of baby spinach to your next salad or throw some kale on a pizza. You can also try adding some greens to a smoothie.
Like carrots, apples are full of fiber and great for teeth. While it is recommended to stay away from sweet foods, there are some exceptions. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. It also stimulates the gums. But while they are healthy, apples are very sweet so eat in moderation.
There's no better drink for your mouth and teeth than good ol' H2O. Drinking water, which makes up 99% of saliva, is essential to the breakdown of food, neutralizing bacterial acid (hello morning breath!) and preventing tooth decay. While water still isn’t as good as a toothbrush and floss, it can still aid in reducing plaque by rinsing away food debris.