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You know the feeling when you run your tongue along your teeth and there’s this fuzzy, sticky layer that covers them? That’s plaque, and if it isn’t removed regularly it can cause gum disease, tooth decay and tartar build-up. The most obvious solution to remove plaque is regular brushing and flossing.

While regular brushing and flossing helps remove build up in the morning and nights, what goes into your mouth during the day will also have an effect, either causing more plaque to grow or to keep it at bay. The first signs of an unhealthy diet can be seen with a decline in a person’s oral health.

We’ve created a list of superfoods for your teeth below so you can add these into your daily diet for happy, healthy teeth.

1. Water

One of the vital ingredients in life will help reduce plaque by removing food debris in your mouth. The water in your saliva breaks down food and helps neutralise bacterial acid, preventing your teeth from decay. Most water also contains fluoride, a special mineral that protects against tooth erosion. So make sure you stay hydrated for your oral health too!

2. Dairy

Milk and cheese specifically, has the ability to neutralise acid produced by plaque bacteria. Cheese especially has superfood qualities as it contains a type of protein called casein that combats acid erosion of your teeth. Eating it after meals can counter the acidity left behind by other foods. Chewing cheese also stimulates saliva production, your body’s own method of protecting the mouth and getting rid of food bits.

Drinking a glass of milk after eating desserts such as cakes or sweets will help protect your teeth too. Although, the combination of cereals mixed with milk won’t have the same effect since the milk becomes a syrupy sweet mixture.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are good for you full stop. But! There are a specific handful that contain special qualities and will help keep your pearly whites shining.

High fibre fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery, are ‘nature’s toothbrush’. The fibrous texture in these superfoods acts like a toothbrush and scrapes away leftover food particles and bacteria. Munching on these will also stimulate saliva production to help reduce food debris and bacteria.

Leafy greens, such as kale or spinach, are also great for your oral health as they have a high water content and a crunchy texture. Packed with vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet, leafy greens are also high in calcium that builds teeth enamel.

Though most citrus fruits can be harsh on your teeth as a result of their strong acidity levels, oranges are the least harmful of the group. On the plus side, oranges contain vitamin C, a vitamin that can slow the progression of gum disease by lessening any inflammation. As a result of the acidity in citrus it is recommended to brush half an hour after eating these fruits. Otherwise you could eat some cheese to protect the enamel on your teeth!

Strawberries are another super-fruit to benefit your oral health as they contain malic acid, a natural whitener for enamel. These juicy fruits will actually help prevent your teeth from staining.

4. Chocolate

Yes! That delicious sweet snack can actually benefit your oral health. Unfortunately, we don’t mean the sweet milk chocolate, we’re talking about the dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Darker chocolate contain a compound called CBH that helps tooth enamel harden and reduces your susceptibility to tooth decay. This is because dark chocolate is closer to its origin, the cocoa bean, which houses CBH.  

5. Green tea and Black tea

Bacteria in your mouth feeds on the sugars available. Once they’ve eaten all they can, they excrete acids that destroys tooth enamel. Green and black tea contains a micronutrient, polyphenols, that counters the acid and plaque caused by bacteria by either killing or suppressing them, while also protecting your mouth from cavities and gum disease.

6. Sugarless gum

The most important thing to note is sugarless. Gum that contains sugar reverses the positive effects it has to your oral health. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, nature’s way of cleaning teeth. The extra saliva helps wash away acids left in your mouth while also bathing your teeth in phosphate and calcium, the ingredients for stronger teeth and bones.

Substitute or add in these foods to your daily diet for improvements in oral health and don’t forget to have your teeth professionally cleaned with your team at Beachside Dental. While brushing, flossing and eating right will help plaque build up, a proper dental clean is the only way to really get into every nook and cranny so remember to get your pearly white cleaned regularly!