It is important to try and eat healthy to enjoy good health and wellbeing. But how many of us consider our teeth when selecting meals?

Oral health is just as important as the rest of the human body, so it is essential to factor this into our thinking when shopping to keep our teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

The good news is that you can enjoy a healthy diet even when you have braces. Modern clear braces mean there is no risk of food being stuck in the wires anymore, so in saying that, here are the best foods for positive oral health.

Fibre-rich fruits and Vegetables Will Help Keep Your Teeth And Gums Clean

According to the American Dental Association, many foods act as natural cleaning agents for your mouth, and many of our favourite fruits and vegetables fall in this category.

Fruits and vegetables high in fibre stimulate saliva production as well. It is the best defence against cavities and gum disease, next to proper dental hygiene at home. The effects of acids and enzymes attacking your teeth are significantly reduced within 20 minutes of consuming something with sugar or starch.

Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables include: 

  • Guava
  • Raspberries
  • Persimmon
  • Mango
  • Pear
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Green peas
  • Broccoli
  • Turnip greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potato
  • Sweet corn
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot

Calcium-Rich Dairy Products Keep Our Teeth Strong

We were always raised to drink our milk for strong teeth and bones, and that was no old wives tale. Most dairy is exceptionally good for our teeth, especially milk. Your teeth will become more robust, and your enamel will be protected if you drink milk. Additionally, it helps strengthen your jaw bone, which can lead to a longer life for your teeth, and it reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, contain calcium and phosphate that can help replenish minerals your teeth could have lost. Also, they aid in regenerating enamel on the teeth.

In addition to children and expectant mothers, milk is vital to women in general. A child’s bones and teeth develop best when they get enough calcium and phosphorus in their diets. It has also been shown that drinking milk helps prevent osteoporosis in women who are pre or post-menopausal.

Drinking Tea Can Protect Your Mouth From Bacteria

Polyphenols in green and black teas affect plaque bacteria by either killing them or holding them back from causing damage to your teeth. By doing this, bacteria are prevented from growing and producing acids that attack teeth. In addition, a cup of tea can be a source of fluoride if you use fluoridated water to brew it.

In addition to preventing cavities in teeth, fluoride also makes them more resistant to acid attacks caused by plaque, bacteria and sugars. Fluoride can team up with calcium and phosphate in your enamel to form fluorapatite, the best type of protection you can give your teeth against cavities: by strengthening your teeth and preventing decay from forming.  

So on top of tea, drinking large volumes of chilled tap water is excellent for your oral health and your overall health and wellbeing.

The Foods To Avoid

It is probably pretty evident which foods will not make a list for healthy teeth and gums. Sorry to all of those with a sweet tooth, but lollies, chocolates, and other confectionery will lead to tooth decay and cavities. When you want to indulge, look for sweets that clear out of the mouth quickly. Dark chocolate is probably your healthiest bet here.

Starchy foods are a risk as well, as products like bread, baked goods and chips can become wedged between your teeth and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Fizzy drinks are a no-no because of the phosphoric and citric acids that will eat away at your tooth enamel.

Like everything, try to enjoy these foods in moderation and remember to drink plenty of water, brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and book regular checkups with your dentist.