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Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth

Posted on May 18, 2015, by Grace Rizza

DentistWhen brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that causes plaque and cavities. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that causes tooth decay. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.

Cheese helps preserve and rebuild tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps produce saliva, which kills bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea contains polyphenols, which are chemicals that act as antioxidants. Polyphenols slow the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease, and they prevent the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fight bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Naturally abrasive foods also help in removing stuck food particles and cleaning between teeth. They also are excellent gum masseuses!

Vitamin-rich foods, such as leafy greens, almonds and low-fat milk, contain calcium and phosphorus, which help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods, such as soft drinks, citrus fruits, tomatoes and coffee, may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphorus help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.

Sugarless gum contains xylitol, which helps prevent plaque and aids in saliva production. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh!

While it is important to have a balanced diet for your oral, as well as overall health, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments with our Asheville dentist.