Nutrition: Five foods that will help your dental health

The food we need to nourish our bodies can often do a number on our teeth. Sticky or sugary food particles help the bacteria in our mouths to produce acids, leading to tooth decay. That’s why it’s so important to keep our teeth clean between meals.

The food we need to nourish our bodies can often do a number on our teeth. Sticky or sugary food particles help the bacteria in our mouths to produce acids, leading to tooth decay. That’s why it’s so important to keep our teeth clean between meals.

It’s possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth when you don’t have a toothbrush; try these everyday foods to maintain your oral hygiene.

Apples, carrots and celery

These snacks aren’t known as dental detergents for nothing. Crunchy fruits and vegetables increase the flow of cleansing saliva, giving your mouth a fresh feeling. Just be sure the fruits you choose between meals aren’t high in acid; they can be hard on your tooth enamel.

Cheese or milk

Acid from the foods we eat can eat away at our teeth. But many dairy products can actually reduce the acid in your mouth. And a glass of milk or a piece of cheese is filling. “It satisfies you as far as hunger goes, and sugar found in milk doesn’t contribute to tooth decay,” says Dr. Ron Smith, president of the Canadian Dental Association.

Raw onion

Try a slice or two of fresh onion on your sandwich. Research at a Korean University showed that raw onions have powerful antibacterial properties. In an experiment, onions wiped out four strains of bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. Of course, after eating raw onions you may end up with killer breath!

Water

Wash your mouth out with water! Drinking water can cleanse your teeth. In fact, water swished around in your mouth is as effective as mouthwash at removing bacteria. If you’re trying to control your weight, even more reason to make water your friend. Between meals, a glass or two of water can keep your tummy feeling filled.

Cashews

Cashew nut shell oil has been shown to have microbe-fighting properties against bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Not only can these nuts help keep your teeth clean, they may also clear your skin – research shows cashew nut shell oil helps to fight one of the bacteria that cause acne.

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