You might know some of the foods that are harmful to teeth (acidic fruit juices, sugary drinks, chewy toffees, and crunchy pork scratchings) but you don’t often hear about healthy foods for healthy teeth. The experts at Ten Dental + Facial are always on hand to advise patients on diet and oral hygiene, because taking care of your teeth and gums is our number one priority.
Here’s our pick of the five healthiest foods for healthy teeth, to keep your smile looking at its best for as long as possible.
- Dairy products
Dairy products contain calcium, which promotes healthy bones and teeth. They also stimulate your mouth’s production of saliva, which can protect against oral bacteria. If you’re lactose intolerant, look for alternatives such as calcium-fortified nut milks, including almond and cashew.
Generally, any food high in calcium and protein is a good addition to your diet – just look out for foods that are also high in sugar, as these should be avoided.
- Carrot and celery
Raw carrot and celery can be added to salads and can naturally polish your teeth as you chew through their crunchy texture. Other crunchy fruit and vegetables can be good too – for example, apples are a good alternative to sweets, and contain quite a lot of water which will help to hydrate you too.
- Unsweetened nuts
Nuts make a great snack as an alternative to hard nibbles like pork scratchings. Again, they’re high in protein, and if you opt for unsweetened nuts like plain almonds, you get the benefits without the potential drawbacks.
There are plenty of different types of nuts to try, so consider the varieties you don’t normally go for, and you might find a new favourite.
- Fresh fruit
There are some widely held myths when it comes to eating fresh fruit, which can be naturally quite high in sugar. If you eat the fruit whole, those sugars are stored within its structure, and less likely to damage your teeth – so don’t shy away from getting your 5 a day.
It’s only once they’re juiced that the fructose becomes ‘free sugars’ that can attack your teeth more easily, and should be avoided in quantities over 150ml a day.
- Tea and coffee
Believe it or not, tea and coffee – if made without sugar – can be relatively good options for the health of your teeth, although you should brush regularly to prevent any brown stains.
If you want an alternative, you can also try fruit teas, which are free from many of the harmful sugars of freshly squeezed fruit juice and smoothies. As a cold drink, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk is a better option than whole milk, and no-added-sugar cordials are kinder to your teeth than most fresh fruit juice.
If you have a question or need guidance on how to maintain your oral health, contact one of dental clinics in Wandsworth, Balham or Clapham High Street to book a consultation and we will be happy to help point you in the right direction.