Taking care of your teeth may be easier than you think! You can support your overall health and help to prevent tooth decay by consuming foods that are good for your teeth.
Yes, you may have a sweet tooth and you may like to overindulge in your favourite snack every now and again. However, it is important to keep everything in moderation and remember to maintain your oral hygiene through brushing and flossing each day.
If you have been overindulging in snacks lately or would like to know some healthy foods that are good for your health, our team has outlined 5 foods that are good for your teeth and, habits that support your oral health.
1. Fibre rich fruits
Foods rich with fibre like fruits help to keep your teeth and gums clean. These fruits include:
They also help with saliva production. Research states that your saliva helps to clear and neutralize acid attacks on the surface of your teeth (1). These acids may be left behind from sugary foods and drinks which can damage your enamel.
We do have to be a little mindful of over-snacking on fruits as they do still contain sugars, but the natural sugars balanced with the fibre makes them a much better snack for your oral health compared with refined and processed sugary snacks.
Vegetables are also a great source of food to support your teeth. Like fruit, vegetables such as celery and carrots help to clean the bacteria and plaque from your teeth while you chew.
Leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, cabbage and bok choy are also amazing providers of special nutrients like folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre.
It is recommended to have at least 5 serves of vegetables per day. A few suggestions you may want to include in your daily intake are:
- Sweet potato
Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth, especially almonds as they are packed with calcium and phosphorus! Calcium and phosphorus help to keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong due to their natural properties and role in mineralising teeth.
Brazil nuts, cashews and peanuts may also be a good option too as they are a great source of protein, vitamin D, fibre, and unsaturated fats.
Fish like salmon are packed with phosphorus, an important mineral for protecting your tooth enamel.
They are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Furthermore, fish are also known to aid our brain function, to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease (2).
5. Dairy Products
Dairy products support the balance of minerals in your saliva and assist you to grow strong, healthy bones. This is because product such as cheese, plain yogurt, and milk contain high amounts of calcium which helps to provide minerals to your teeth which might have been lost due to consuming other unhealthy foods.
Dairy products also help to rebuild your tooth enamel.
How soon should I brush after eating?
Dr Peter Alldritt, The Chairman of the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee recommends that you should brush your teeth around 30 minutes after eating especially after consuming acidy fruits such as oranges and lemons as they can soften your enamel. This allows your mouth to produce enough saliva to neutralize the acid left behind in your mouth so that you are not harming your teeth while they are weakened.
Citrus fruits such as lemon or food that contains sugars or starches, produce acid which may also cause your mouth to become dry. For this reason, your saliva may have a lower effect on food acids and enzymes begin to start attacking your teeth during this period.
Therefore, you should wait until your saliva neutralises acid to help support your teeth.
Good dental health practices
We recommend you see your dentist every 6 months for a check-up and clean to ensure you are staying on top of your oral health.
While you are at home, you should maintain good oral hygiene habits such as:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Drinking water
If you do use mouthwash, make sure it is used in addition to brushing and flossing not as a substitute for them.
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- Dundar, A., & Sengun, A. (2014). Dental approach to erosive tooth wear in gastroesophageal reflux disease. African health sciences, 14(2), 481–486. https://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v14i2.28. Retrieved From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196415/
- Burger, J., & Gochfeld, M. (2009). Perceptions of the risks and benefits of fish consumption: individual choices to reduce risk and increase health benefits. Environmental research, 109(3), 343–349. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2008.12.002. Retrieved From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4300128/