Good oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day for two minutes, is just as important for your teeth as knowing what foods to eat and which to avoid for healthy teeth and gums. Leading dentist and Oral-B consultant, Clinical Associate Professor Matt Hopcraft, is an avid foodie and passionate about good oral health. Here he gives advice on which foods are best for your teeth and those that we should avoid.
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Best Foods For Healthy Teeth
An apple a day is great for your general health and for your teeth and gums, but there are plenty of other foods which can help maintain a beautiful smile.
Did you know that eating apples can actually help to cleanse and brighten your teeth? Eat apples whole – not peeled – as the fibre-rich flesh is essential for helping keep teeth healthy.
2. Celery & Carrots
Crunchy vegetables (and fruit) that are high-fibre keep saliva flowing which helps create mineral defences against tooth decay. Eating vegetable sticks, particularly celery, will help massage the gums whilst also cleaning between the teeth when chomped on. Your gums are just as important as your teeth, so it’s essential you look after them to prevent gum problems, which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss or impact on more severe conditions such as heart disease. With regular brushing, Oral-B Pro-Health All-Around Protection toothpaste helps prevent gum problems as well as cavities, plaque, tartar and enamel erosion.
Calcium is a prime ingredient for helping to prevent tooth decay. Dairy is a great source, with choices such as milk, yogurt and cheese. However, there are plenty of other foods, which contain calcium too, so aim to incorporate them into your diet as much as possible, particularly if you are lactose-intolerant. Leafy greens, sardines and salmon (including bones), tahini, almonds, broccoli, tofu (preferably organic), watercress and parsley are all great options.
Wholegrains provide B vitamins and iron, which help keep gums healthy. They also contain magnesium, an important ingredient for bones and teeth, and are high in fibre. Look for foods such as bran, brown rice, and wholegrain cereals and pasta, which are all good sources of whole grains.
Foods To Avoid For Healthy Teeth
Everyone knows that avoiding too much sugar is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Did you know though that certain foods are more likely to cause tooth chips, enamel damage and cavity-causing plaque to form? These are some foods that may cause damage to your teeth.
1. Carbonated drinks
All carbonated drinks, even the diet varieties, are terrible for your teeth. They are high in sugar (up to 10 teaspoons in a single can of soft drink), and are often highly acidic, leading to tooth erosion. Foods containing a high sugar content can feed enamel-eroding bacteria, so be sure to brush after eating to remove any residue. Try using the new Oral B GENIUS 9000 electric toothbrush – the intelligent brushing system that features position detection technology that expertly guides and tracks your brushing by connecting to the Oral-B App on your smartphone for a superior clean.
2. Citrus Foods
While citrus fruits are a great source of nutrients and include a hefty dose of Vitamin C, they also have a high acid content. Acid can strip tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity and making your teeth vulnerable to decay.
3. Dried Fruits
High in non-soluble cellulose fibre and sugar, sticky dried fruits can easily cling to your teeth, leaving lots of sugar stuck inside your mouth.
4. Potato chips
They may taste great but after eating potato chips it’s easy for the particles to become trapped in between your teeth. The high starch content turns to sugar and feeds the acid-producing bacteria that leads to plaque.
Biting into unpopped kernels can cause teeth to break and damage fillings, braces or dentures, leaving new cracks and crevices that are susceptible to a build-up of bacteria and decay.
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