From detox cleanses to keto diets, we do everything to keep our bodies fit and healthy. But our teeth and gums are just as important, and you need to keep an eye on what you eat and drink. The aim is to steer clear of:
- Foods that are likely to cause tooth decay and spread diseases in your gums
- Foods that encourage plaque formation over your teeth (which can affect the surface of your teeth for almost half an hour after you eat).
Some foods help keep your teeth healthy and avoid the build-up of plaque and other germs:
Good news for cheese lovers because cheese can actually combat the acidic residue left behind by foods containing sugars and starch. It’s actually a good idea to eat cheese after a meal as it’s a mouth-friendly food and cleans up any acid left in the mouth.
All dairy products like yoghurt, milk, and cheese contain minerals and calcium that help strengthen the enamel of your teeth. They also encourage the formation of saliva to keep everything in your mouth in balance.
Both green and black teas are good for you since they contain polyphenols that help you get rid of plaque. They’ll either kill the bacteria entirely or keep it from harming the inside of your mouth. Having a cup of tea after a meal helps remove the plaque that may have formed due to the food you ate.
Fruits & Veggies
Any fruits and vegetables with a high fibre content are good for your teeth and gums. They encourage the production of saliva and are an all-natural way of keeping your mouth free from gum diseases and cavities. Basically, when you eat something with sugar or starch, it starts reducing the effectiveness of saliva when it comes to keeping your mouth clean. Once the saliva is restored, it brings with it calcium and phosphate to restore the helpful bacteria in your teeth.
Some of your favourite snacks are also great for your teeth and gums, such as:
- Sugar-free chewing gum- this encourages saliva production and kills germs in the food particles left in your mouth after a meal.
- Chocolate- apart from making you feel good after a bad day, chocolate is also good for oral hygiene, provided that it’s at least 70% cacao. Dark chocolate, in particular, strengthens the enamel of your teeth, preventing tooth decay. The key here is the cacao bean – chocolate that contains too many other ingredients or has a low cacao percentage may end up leaving behind sugars that can be bad for you.
Apart from these, remember that your saliva is 99.5% water and you need to consume enough daily to avoid dehydration. Drinking the right amount of water can neutralise bacteria in your mouth, keep bad breath at bay, help in reducing the plaque content, and protect your teeth against foods that cause stains (like coffee).
Overall, maintaining the right diet will keep you away from teeth and gum problems, and will not only save you from a visit to the dentist but will also make you feel energetic and happy.