Your diet greatly affects your oral health, so ensuring that you consume foods for healthy teeth will not only make your smile brighter, but breath fresher and teeth whiter!
There is a lot of information out there on foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth. Whether it’s soda contributing to enamel wear, red wine causing stains or hard candies that lead to tooth decay, most of us are aware of the list of “bad” foods that can wreak havoc on our teeth.
How about some good news? There are myriad food and drink options that are good for your teeth. Even better news is that the following items are also vegan and raw, so if you are following a vegan diet you have many options — aside from regular brushing and flossing — to keep your teeth in the best possible shape. Here are some items you should consume regularly to help improve your oral health.
Eating nuts is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. Due to their high levels of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc, they can actually help remineralize your teeth and protect your tooth enamel. This is a natural way to help rebuild tooth enamel that is removed by highly acidic foods. In addition, calcium strengthens your teeth. The most calcium-rich nuts are almonds and Brazil nuts, so be sure to stock up.
Not all fruits are created equal when it comes to your oral health. Apples and pears in particular are very good for your teeth due to their high water content, which dilutes their natural sugars and helps stimulate saliva production. This helps to wash away food particles and buffer the effect of acid. Be careful with citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemons, which are highly acidic – rinse your mouth after eating these fruits!
Crunchy, raw vegetables are also great for your teeth. Carrots, celery and cucumbers are excellent choices. Like fruits, they are high in water and help get saliva flowing. In addition, they also have a strong scrubbing effect when you bite into them, helping to brush bacteria away and dislodge dental plague.
Skip those sugary, acidic sodas and make water your drink of choice. Water washes away food particles and helps keep your saliva levels high, helping to combat tooth decay.
Green tea is another excellent drink choice, thanks to compounds called catechins that fight inflammation and bacterial infections. A British study showed that those who regularly consumed green tea had better oral health than those who did not. Study participants were examined on three indicators of gum disease, and researchers found that simply drinking one cup per day decreased these indicators.
Sometimes sugar can be good for your teeth. Consider the shitake mushroom, which contains a natural sugar called lentinan, which may help to prevent gingivitis, a gum disease caused by the buildup of bacteria. Recent studies have shown that lentinan, with its antibacterial compounds, helps to target and kill cavity-causing bacteria.
Have a sweet tooth? Replace sugary candies with raisins, which are naturally sweet and sucrose-free. Raisins are loaded with phytochemicals, which may kill bacteria which can lead to cavities. Although you might think that their stickiness would be bad for your teeth, studies have proven otherwise. Consider raisins a natural candy that is good for you!
Diet plays an important role in our dental health, and these foods can help contribute to a healthier mouth, stronger teeth and a happier you.
Contributing Author: Alicia is a “Jill of all trades.” She writes about DIY projects, home advice and health on her blog Homey Improvements. She also works as a freelance writer, and helps a variety of clients with content marketing.