Best Foods Recommended for Keeping your Teeth Healthy and Clean

Best Foods Recommended for Keeping your Teeth Healthy and Clean
Julie Doherty Naturopathic Physician Hackham, SA

An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more

You may well have been told that brushing your teeth is done to remove food from your teeth.

However did you know that there are certain foods that will actually help to make your teeth cleaner? Many foods, when left on your teeth, build up over time, causing plaque.

This leading to tooth decay. There are foods that dentists both agree and recommend. The foods listed below will help support the cleanliness of your teeth.

You will find that after eating these foods, your mouth will feel fresher than before.

This doesn't replace brushing your teeth or flossing, but by eating these foods throughout the day, you will further decrease your chances of decay by maintaining a clean and healthy mouth.

Not only will these fruits and vegetables help to clean your teeth, but by eating them on a regular basis they will also help to keep you healthy throughout the rest of your body.

7 Great Foods for Healthy Teeth

  1. Pineapples - One of the best teeth-cleaners is the pineapple. Pineapples actually help to whiten your teeth. They contain an enzyme that works as a natural stain remover for your teeth. That enzyme also helps to remove plaque.
  2. Carrots - While the myth is that carrots are good for your vision, they are good for your teeth, too. The vitamin A in carrots helps build tooth enamel. Chewing raw carrots will cleanse your teeth. In addition, eating them aids your mouth in producing saliva, which is the mouth’s natural cleanser.
  3. Onions - You might think that onions cause bad breath, but they actually help to clean your teeth. They contain sulfur compounds that get rid of bacteria that cause tooth decay. You must eat them raw for this effect to happen.
  4. Broccoli - Broccoli has lots of iron, which contributes to the production of a film on that protects the enamel on your teeth. Fruits and vegetables are good for you in many ways, including cleaning your teeth. All green leafy vegetables have a positive effect on the health of your teeth, providing the necessary minerals to maintain healthy, strong enamel.
  5. Tea - Tea can also be good for your teeth. Green tea helps to reduce plaque, cavities, and gum disease. It also contains fluoride, which strengthens the teeth. You can also rinse your teeth using infused herbal teas. Therefore, different types of tea aid in getting rid of bad breath and loosening up plaque in your mouth. They also simply make your breath feel fresher.
  6. Yogurt and almonds - Yogurt and almonds are high in calcium, so these support healthy, strong teeth. Hard goat's milk cheese helps to buffer mouth acids, and it is also high in calcium, playing an important role in repairing your teeth.
  7. Sesame seeds - These are another surprising teeth cleaner—they help to remove plaque from your teeth.

By including these foods into your daily eating regime you may well find that the next time you visit the dentist, you may not need to have your teeth whitened. Food whitening and cleansing of your teeth is definitely an optimal choice compared to the chemical whitening either from the dentist or over the counter chemical based products.

Another way of supporting healthy, clean teeth is to, once or twice a week, clean your teeth with Bi Carb. Just dampen your toothbrush, in a small bowl have some bicarb, dip your toothbrush in and brush your teeth. You may need to dip your toothbrush 2 or 3 times. You teeth will feel so clean and fresh afterwards.

7 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

  1. Carbonated beverages & other drinks - Soft drinks are direct poison to your body. Whether it be to the content of sugar, aspartame, or carbon. The sugar makes the blood cells sticky, making your blood unable to flow efficiently to transport nutrients throughout your body and to the small capillaries within your mouth to your teeth. Artificially sweetened soft drinks contain tooth-eroding acids,  such as phosphoric and citric. Canned or bottled tea beverages, juices, and milk drinks such as iced coffee and iced chocolate also will erode tooth enamel and decrease the flow of blood, lessening the essential nutrients necessary for healthy strong teeth.
  2. Not all vitamins are good for you - So-called health drinks also are dangerous and damaging to your teeth.  Sports drinks are notoriously acidic and full of sugar. Vitamin-added waters often contain as much sugar as lollies or other sugar-laden drinks. Chewable vitamins – from multivitamins to large chewable vitamin C tablets – are especially bad, because they contain a concentrated acid that clings to and between teeth, beginning to cause instant decay.
  3. Consumables that cause dehydration and mouth dryness – Whether it’s last night’s margaritas leaving your mouth feeling like a ball of cotton wool, many of the medications that affect salivation, a dry mouth is a danger to teeth and gums. Psychiatric medications can be among the worst culprits in causing dry mouth. As with your body, it is important to keep the mouth well hydrated by drinking filtered water throughout the day. Dehydration begins before your mouth feels dry or you feel thirsty.
  4. Candy, cakes, biscuits, and sweets - It’s not rocket science that cakes, biscuits, lollies, and gooey deserts are not only bad for your teeth but equally as bad for your health. Believe it or not, it is not just the sugar, it's how long your teeth have been exposed to the sugar; it's also as mentioned the fact that the sugar has other detrimental effects throughout your body, causing disease such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and obesity.
  5. Dried fruits – The motto I have always used is to remember that fresh is best. It is not a good idea to replace healthy fruits, and even vegetables for that matter, with the dried version.
  6. Starchy foods - Starchy foods, such as white bread, potato chips, deep fried chips, and al dente pasta easily become lodged between teeth and in crevices. They may not necessarily taste sweet, but with starches, they begin to convert to sugar almost immediately when eaten. This happens due to the bacteria and also by the pre-digestive process that begins in the mouth through the enzymes in your saliva.
  7. High-acid foods and drinks - Citrus fruits and processed fruit juices contain powerful citric acid – in fact, such juice is often used as a cleaning agent. As you know, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are all part of a healthy diet. It is suggested that they be consumed quickly and preferably as part of a meal. Then after eating, the mouth should be rinsed well with filtered water. You can include eating an apple, or if you are able you can clean your teeth with your regular toothbrush.

Dos and Don'ts for Healthy Teeth

  1. Crunching ice and popcorn – Teeth are tough and made to last a lifetime eating a normal diet, but they do have a breaking point. Ice is tough – tough enough that glaciers carve mountains and an iceberg could peel open the Titanic. Chewing ice is a common habit, but even if this doesn’t cause a major break, it can lead to a network of tiny cracks that can develop serious problems as time goes on. Popcorn has its own dental danger, from husks that can easily become wedged between teeth to uncooked kernels that can damage teeth.
  2. Use a straw/don’t swish – The impact of sweet and/or acidic drinks can be cushioned by getting into the habit of drinking through a straw aimed toward the back of the mouth. Swishing a drink through the teeth, however, intensifies the effect of both sugars and acids.
  3. Use water as a mouthwash – Water makes the perfect rinse to clear sugars and acids after eating or drinking.
  4. Be careful brushing - Brushing is recommended after every meal. However there’s an exception; if one has just eaten or drank an acidic food or beverage, they should rinse with plain water to clear the mouth, and then wait at least a half-hour before brushing. After the acid bath, tooth enamel is more vulnerable to damage. Waiting a while gives saliva a chance to re-mineralize the teeth so the brushing doesn’t worsen damage.

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