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How Certain Foods Help Protect Your Teeth

submitted on 21 April 2020
We've often heard about how a wholefood diet makes us healthier, but we don't often associate those health improvements with healthier teeth. We often think that to have healthier teeth, we just need to cut out sugar to prevent cavaties. Yes, we should reduce our sugar intake for that reason, and other health reasons too...but actually, nutrition has an even greater influence on the health of our teeth than we realise.

Chew, chew, chew!
Chewing is such an automatic behaviour, we rarely think about it. It's almost like breathing or blinking. We just do it automatically. However, it's a really key element to healthy teeth! How so? The physical act of chewing increases saliva production in the mouth; if chewed after eating, increased saliva can help neutralize and eliminate the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on teeth. Wholefoods tend to be chewier than processed foods - so the act of eating a wholefood diet will see you chew a lot more. Think nuts, raisins, apples, leafy greens, those kinds of wholefoods.

Wholefoods contain the bacteria that our mouths are used to. This in turn helps regulate the health of our teeth a lot more than processed foods will do.

Teeth Whitening Properties of Dairy Products
While not strictly "wholefoods", dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yoghurt contain lactic acid and the enamel-fortifying mineral calcium, which strengthen teeth while also making them whiter.

Phosphorus to keep teeth strong
Phosphorus is found in fish, eggs, dairy, lean meat, nuts and beans - it helps keep your teeth strong.

Vitamin C for Healthy Gums
Vitamin C promotes gum health, so eat lots of tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach.

Carrots increase saliva production
Saliva is known to reduce the risk of cavities, therefore always look to include carrots whenever you can into your meals.

These are just some tips on keeping your teeth healthy through eating certain food groups. Of course, you can't rely on these alone. You must also clean your teeth thoroughly twice a day, and avoid added sugar.
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