Dried fruit, fruit juice and honey contain natural sugars that can cause tooth decay – but that doesn’t mean all fruit is bad for your teeth. Experts recommend people continue to eat fresh fruit but drink water afterwards to wash away the acid. Alternatively, eat something containing calcium, such as cheese, which neutralises acid. Of course there is no reason not to do both and give that acid a double kicking.
So I will continue to eat fresh fruit in whole, raw form, but I will be rinsing with water afterwards.
However I will be saying no to:
- Canned fruit
- Fruit juice
- Dried fruit
Drinking milk can actually promote healthy teeth and bones. The sugar in milk is lactose, which is the least damaging to teeth and the calcium found in the beverage helps kids develop strong baby and adult teeth.
Studies have shown that when cavity-causing foods are eaten along with milk; the milk can actually help protect teeth from damage. If you don’t drink milk, ask your dentist about toothpastes that can re-mineralize your teeth.
However, as good for your teeth as milk is during the day, it can be a hazard to them at night, which is bad news for me as I liked to take a glass to bed with me. Always be sure to brush before sleeping, and think twice before putting a child to bed with a bottle of milk.
Green Tea has a well-deserved reputation for providing many benefits. Green tea provides natural antioxidant compounds that prevent plaque from accumulating, therefore reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath. Some green teas also contain fluoride that can further prevent tooth decay – check the label before you buy.
Cheese is another dairy product with significant dental benefits. Being high in phosphate and calcium, cheese promotes healthy teeth. It also balances the pH in your mouth, produces more saliva, rebuilds tooth enamel and kills the bacteria that cause tooth cavities and gum disease. It’s only recently I discovered just how beneficial one of my favourite snacks is!
I guess no-one is surprised here; vegetables are another good idea if you are trying to build a good foundation for your teeth. Broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin are rich in Vitamin A from which tooth enamel forms. If you eat them raw you will get more Vitamin A as well as cleaning your teeth and massaging your gums at the same time.
Onions are rich in powerful anti-bacterial sulphur compounds, which kill the bacteria that harm your teeth and gums. If you are not planning on kissing anyone for a while, eat onions raw for the best results.
Celery is also friendly to your teeth. Eat it raw and it will not only massage your gums, but help clean your teeth. It will also induce the production of more saliva that will neutralize the bacteria in your mouth.