We all know we shouldn’t eat lots of sticky candy or drink gallons of soda if we want to keep our teeth clean and healthy, but have you ever wondered what foods are actually good for teeth? Here are five foods and beverages that will strengthen your teeth.
Strawberries have many health benefits, and some of these benefits carry over to your teeth. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C which strengthens blood vessels and the connective tissue that holds your teeth into your jaw. Vitamin C also reduces inflammation and is required for producing collagen which is an important player in maintaining strong gums. Strawberries also contain malic acid which is a natural enamel whitener, so eating strawberries can help remove stains from drinking wine and coffee.
Milk helps neutralize acid in your mouth after a meal, but its biggest benefit to your teeth is probably the calcium. Calcium from milk and other dairy products keeps your jawbone strong and healthy and protects you against periodontal (gum) disease. If for some reason you can’t eat dairy, dark leafy greens are usually high in calcium and many cereals and juices are fortified with extra calcium. All you have to do is find a source that works for you to keep your teeth healthy and strong. If you are lactose intolerant and can’t get calcium through milk, you can look into the best calcium supplements on the market to fill the gaps in your diet.
Vitamin D is essential to many aspects of your health, including your oral health. We’ve already discussed the importance of calcium, but in order for your body to absorb calcium, it needs vitamin D. Unfortunately it is difficult for many people to get enough vitamin D, especially if they live somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of sun. One great way to fit vitamin D into your diet is by eating salmon. Salmon is a tasty, healthy source of vitamin D and many other nutrients, so your teeth and the rest of your body will benefit from fitting it into your diet.
Spinach is another great source of calcium, but it is also high in fiber which is an important ingredient in a healthy diet. Foods that are high in fiber help with your digestion, but they are also good for your teeth. Foods like spinach physically scrub your teeth. They also need lots of chewing which generates saliva. Saliva, as we will find out in the next section, is an essential part of keeping your teeth clean and healthy.
Water is important for almost every part of life—your oral health is no exception. Drinking water instead of damaging, sugary drinks like soda, actually washes out your mouth. Water is also the main ingredient in saliva, and staying hydrated keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva contains antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses in your mouth. It also neutralizes acid produced by bacteria. Remember to drink water regularly to keep your body and your teeth strong and healthy.
Dentists have always told their patients what not to eat or drink—avoid candy, sugar, soda, and acidic beverages. But the foods and beverages listed above aren’t just safe, they are good for your teeth, so find a way to work them into your diet today.