Food and teeth
The primary purpose of your teeth is to help you to eat your food. Just like sugary foods can damage your teeth by causing decay, there are also foods that can strengthen your teeth and improve your oral health.
This one may seem a little ironic as garlic is infamous for creating foul breath! However, garlic is rich in the compound allicin which prevents the activity of a wide range of bacteria that can cause an imbalance in the oral environment. Eating garlic is, therefore, a great way to keep the bacteria in your mouth in check. As for your breath? Well, not so much!
Dark chocolate has a compound called CBH which has proven to harden the enamel of the teeth. The harder enamel on your teeth, the less susceptible they are to decay. In other words, dark chocolate may actually help prevent cavities! Remember, dark chocolate means the ones with at least 70% cacao, not sugar-laden milk chocolate.
Cheese is great for your teeth in a variety of ways. It contains very high levels of calcium and phosphate which is vital for strong teeth and bones. Cheese also contains lactic acid which is known to prevent tooth decay and has also been known to offset discolouration from other foods such as red wine. It also helps balance the pH level in your mouth, meaning less harmful acid, more saliva, less bacteria growth and fewer cavities.
Strawberries have malic acid which is a natural teeth whitener for tooth enamel. This means eating strawberries can keep your teeth stain-free. The mild acidity of strawberries helps rebalance the pH balance of the mouth. Strawberry seeds however can get stuck between teeth, so remember to floss after eating them.
Fruits like oranges and grapefruit are great for your gum health. Although citrus fruits are generally acidic and can erode your tooth enamel over time, the vitamin C in citrus strengthens blood vessels and connective tissues, hence slowing down the progression of gum disease by reducing inflammation. Just remember to wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after you eat citrus fruits.
Including these five foods into your diet can help you score some points for healthy teeth and gums during your next visit to the dentist!