Hippocrates said it best with “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Indeed, many of us know that our diet effects our health significantly, and this could not be more true than when it comes to our oral health.
Whilst we may be aware that we should avoid refined sugars and too many starchy food products, there are a whole range of foods we can actually seek out due to their key vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the foods we suggest to help you improve the health of your mouth (some may surprise you!):
Although apples are an acidic fruit, these vitamin powerhouses are sometimes called ‘nature’s toothbrushes’. This is because the natural sugars in them help to kill the bad bacteria which contributes to bad breath. Apples are also fibrous and this helps to clean the teeth by removing food debris – making it the perfect snack for freshening up on the go!
2. Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms have long been celebrated for their medicinal qualities, and research is beginning to realise the potential of fungi for our oral health. Shiitake mushrooms have been found to balance the oral microbiota by lowering the numbers of bad bacteria without harming the good bacteria. Shiitake mushrooms also hold powerful anti-gingivitis, anti-caries, anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-viral properties.
Calling all cheese lovers – this dairy product is also good for our teeth. Eating cheese promotes saliva production which not only helps diminish the harmful effects of acids left on your teeth from other foods, but it also contains calcium and phosphate which remineralise teeth.
4. Leafy greens
If you prefer a plant-based option, you’re in luck! Leafy greens, like kale or spinach, also encourage saliva production, therefore, raising calcium and phosphate levels in the mouth, helping to strengthen tooth enamel.
Tea often gets a bad rep when it comes to maintaining a beautiful smile. However, in moderate quantities tea can actually be very beneficial for our dental health. Both black and green tea contain micronutrients known as polyphenols which decrease dental plaque and bad bacteria in the mouth. This helps prevent dental cavities. Try having a cuppa after a meal to see maximum benefits.
Tea not your thing? Cranberries also are a great source of polyphenols.
Almonds are a great low sugar snack that contains high levels of calcium and protein. These little superfoods protect your teeth from harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. These benefits also extend to almond milk making it the perfect tooth-friendly alternative to dairy milk.
Try incorporating these foods into your diet to see for yourself how they can affect your teeth health, alongside a good brushing and flossing routine.
Have we forgotten any of your favourite tooth-friendly foods? Let us know what you eat for oral health in the comments below.