We all know that brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet are key habits in maintaining a healthy mouth. Certain kinds of foods such as sugary drinks, acidic foods and candy are bad for our teeth, but did you know that there are a number of foods that are also good for our mouth? Here is a list to help you select the right foods in your diet to look after your teeth:
Green tea contains polyphenols, which assists in cleaning plaque from the teeth. When plaque builds up and is not removed, it turns to tartar and can result in cavities developing.
Cheese and milk
The high calcium content in cheese and milk acts to protect teeth and strengthen enamel. These products also help to reduce the levels of acidity in the mouth, which is harmful to teeth. The best cheeses to consume are those with a high bacterial content such as blue cheese, brie and camembert.
Onion breath is never pleasant, although eating a slice of raw onion can actually have positive effects on the health of your mouth. Research has found that raw onion has powerful antibacterial properties. Bad bacteria in the mouth can damage teeth.
Yoghurt contains high levels of probiotics, the healthy bacteria that counteracts the bad bacteria that causes illness. A healthy balance of bacteria can reduce the negative impacts that bad bacteria can have on the mouth.
Crunchy fruit and vegetables
The main reason that eating firm, crunchy fruits (e.g. apples and pears) and vegetables can assist in maintaining a healthy mouth is because these foods stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps to protect teeth against decay by washing away remnant food particles and assisting in neutralising acids. These types of foods also contain a high water content, which acts to dilute the sugars they contain.
Even though raisins are sticky, which would normally be bad news for teeth, in actual fact, eating a handful of raisins has more of a positive impact than a negative one. Raisins are high in fibre and contain polyphenols like green tea. Be aware that raisins are quite acidic, however, so consume a food or drink that neutralises the acid afterwards, such as cheese or milk.
Research has found that shitake mushrooms can work to remineralize teeth and also assist in neutralising acid in the mouth.