You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, “avoid sugary and acidic foods because they eat away at your teeth. Also, avoid bread and starchy foods because those can stick around and develop plaque.” Unfortunately, these three are popular in today’s diet. However, here are six foods/drinks that are good for your teeth.
This is one of the best ways to help strengthen your teeth. According to the , 75% of Americans have access to fluoridated water. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and protects against cavities from decay and acid erosion. Similar to fluoride, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, C, & D also helps keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Milk is great for your teeth for a lot of reasons. It often contains little to no sugar plus it contains a wide variety of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and potassium. Milk also has casein proteins which form a protective layer on your teeth to help them resist decay.
Another benefit of milk is that it stimulates saliva production which is the mouth’s biggest natural defense. Fun fact: if you get a tooth knocked out, put it in milk instead of water to transport it to the dentist. This will keep it moist and create an ideal environment for your tooth’s roots and crown.
With milk having as many benefits for your teeth as it does, it’s no surprise that other dairy foods do too. Low-sugar yogurt and cheese are especially good. Cheese can help lower the pH of your saliva to fight against tooth decay, even after an acidic meal.
Not only is yogurt high in calcium, but researchers from Japan published an article in the Journal of Periodontology where they talk about the benefits of probiotics (good bacteria) in maintaining gum health and preventing gum disease. Some kinds of yogurt may also have added benefits for your digestive system.
Lean proteins like fish, poultry, eggs, and other phosphorus-rich foods are nutrient rich. The important thing to remember with this category is to not drench them in acidic or sugary dressing/marinades. Soy sauce and lemon juice are popular options, but eat away at your teeth.
Carrots & Celery
Carrots are great for your teeth as well as your eyes. They also promote saliva production, and their hard texture acts as a natural toothbrush to scrub away plaque while not hurting enamel. Carrots are rich in vitamin A which is vitally important to the health of your gums and enamel.
Celery has a lot of the same benefits as carrots, stimulating saliva protection, scrubbing teeth, and an abundance of antioxidants.
We’ve saved the (arguably) best for last. , yes, you read that right, dark chocolate can actually help fight plaque and build up against cavities. The best kind of dark chocolate for your teeth is 70% cocoa with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving and the less processed it is the better, as that will leave more of the natural antioxidants in the chocolate rather than processing them out.
Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols which are a group of antioxidants that reduces inflammation lowering your . Milk chocolate is generally more sugary and for that reason, we don’t recommend eating a lot of it. Some dark chocolate can be sugar-saturated too, but in most cases, the closer the chocolate is to pure cocoa, the healthier it is.