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Tuesday 26 February 2019

Teeth, look after them, here are the best and worst foods for your teeth

"Most people know that improving general health starts with better food choices, but have you considered what goes in your mouth for the sake of your teeth? Just like every other part of the body, teeth need specific nutrients to thrive, including calcium, vitamin A and D, phosphorous and fibre. There are foods that support oral health with these vitamins and minerals, and others that can instead erode a tooth’s surface, harbour bacteria and increase decay. To help you keep those biters pearly white and fit for healthy feasting, here is our list of foods to enjoy and foods to avoid for better oral health.


Celery & Crunchy Veggies 
Providing two great oral benefits in one healthy snack, celery and other crunchy and high fibre veggies are able to lightly clean the surface of your teeth while also creating more saliva through the amount of chewing needed to break them down. More saliva supports health mouth tissue and also acts as a natural mouthwash, removing food particles from the teeth and gums to help prevent cavities. 

Chia seeds are an incredibly versatile powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, from smoothies to protein balls the addition of chia seeds to your diet can improve your health on so many levels. For your dental needs, eat your daily chia puddings guilt free because they contain calcium, vitamin A, fiber and phosphorous that support healthy teeth

Coconut Oil
There’s not much this incredible oil can’t do, we love using it for cooking, moisturising and now we’ll add dental care to the list as well. The practice of oil pulling - swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes - can draw out toxins that collect in your mouth. This helps to prevent tooth decay and creates an environment in your mouth that’s difficult for bacteria to thrive. Researchers are recognizing the positive impact this regular practice can have on general dental health alongside traditional oral health maintenance

Organic Dairy
Packed with calcium, milk, cheese, and yogurt are great for maintaining a healthy smile but can also repair and strengthen tooth enamel thanks to the protein casein. When consumed as Kefir, a fermented milk drink, you can receive the benefits of the fatty acid profile and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2 - a perfect mix for oral and general health. 

Fatty Fish
Consuming fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon or sardines gives your diet a boost of Vitamin D which allows your body to absorb all the benefits of calcium from other foods you eat. Fatty fish also contains phosphorus which supports stronger tooth enamel, and the Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to improvements in periodontitis (gum disease). Don’t like fish? Consider fish oil supplements so you don’t miss out on all the benefits. 

Dark Chocolate
We bet you never thought a sweet treat could be good for your teeth! The compound CBH found in cacao has been shown to help harden tooth enamel and prevent decay. So enjoy a square or two of a nice 70%+ dark chocolate block knowing you’re doing something good for your teeth. 

Green and Black Tea
Tea can be a great choice to accompany or follow a meal as the polyphenols found in green and black tea can kill or suppress the bacteria that cause plaque.


Acidic Food
While citrus may provide great benefits with high levels of Vitamin C, the acids found in citrus break down tooth enamel and can cause irreversible damage when consumed regularly. The two main culprits are lemon juice and grapefruit juice. If you’re like us and love to have a lemon juice in the morning for a great start to the day and to aid with digestion, for better dental health this should be followed by plain water. You should avoid brushing your teeth immediately before or after your citrus drink to allow your saliva to do its work balancing the PH levels in your mouth

White Bread
For so many reasons we avoid highly processed white bread, but in terms of oral health white bread is on the no-go list because it sticks to the crevices of your teeth and its enzymes convert into sugars creating a perfect environment for bacteria. 

Sports drinks
Loaded with sugar and highly acidic, there isn’t much going for sports drinks in terms of oral health. Not only is the list of ingredients alarming, the fact that these drinks are usually sipped slowly means the damaging ingredients are staying in the mouth longer and coating the teeth for longer which exacerbates the issue. 

Dried fruits
You might have dried fruits on your Healthy list, but when it comes to your teeth dried fruits are high in sugar and are sticky so the sugars stay on the teeth longer, feeding bad bacteria. Opt for fresh fruit instead! 

Pickles are highly acidic and can wear down your tooth enamel more than any other food. If you love to snack on pickles, we recommend you rinse your mouth with water after eating them. 

Practicing good oral hygiene with a combination of traditional methods and a teeth-friendly diet should see you donning a healthy smile for years to come." 

Words and picture above taken from an article by James Colquhoun, which you can see with all related links here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are found within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Karen said...

I learned a lot from your post today. I never thought about foods being good for my teeth. Thanks for the information.

William Kendall said...

Excellent recommendations.

Tom said...

...good to know.

Christine said...

Great advice!

NanaDiana said...

Good advice all the way around...she said on her way to have veneers put on 4 bottom teeth!

Martha said...

Great advice. Thank you!

Iris Flavia said...

I sure will keep this in mind, thank you!

Angie said...

Jan - very helpful. My Mom knew a thing or two - always having us munching on carrot and celery sticks as snacks!

Lady Fi said...

Some good tips.

Valerie-Jael said...

Very good tips again today, Valerie

Nadezda said...

Thank you Jan for your advice! I've never known about Chia, I should read on. I also love pickles and salted herrings so I need to care more my teeth.

Sami said...

I tried coconut oil pulling twice, but didn't enjoy it, will have to persist.
More dark chocolate sounds great :)
Thanks for the informative article Jan.

Jo said...

Some good advice. When my kids were little I always used to tell them to look after their teeth because they had to last them a lifetime, then Daniel ended up fainting into the side of a door at school and knocking one of his front teeth out. I was so upset, he ended up having to have a crown fitted.

RO said...

Wow! This is fascinating information that I didn't know, and it's advice I'm going to keep close from now on. Thanks so very much! Hugs...RO

George Pereira said...

very interesting ... i was once going to get a filling done and was talking to a friend who never had a problem with his teeth. i asked him about his secret. he told me he washes his mouth every night with salt water after brushing. i tried it for a few days but gave up. i don't like the salty taste in my mouth.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Interesting information. I never think to eat for my teeth!

mamasmercantile said...

I must admit I was rather taken aback by pickles, I hadn't though about its high acidic content.

Stephanie said...

I so enjoyed this post and found it to be very helpful and informative...thank you, my friend. I, too, was surprised about the pickles. I don't eat many pickles, but I wouldn't have thought they were bad for your teeth {{smiles}}

Happy day to you, dear Jan. Hugs!

Lorrie said...

So if I have a pickle, followed by a square of dark chocolate, I should be okay? An interesting list. Have a great day, Jan.

Bob Bushell said...

And yes, thanks for info, loads to digest..................

Marco Luijken said...

Hello Jan,
That's looking so well.
I love fresh coconuts.

Best regards,

Pam said...

Goes to show that you never know! Bananas being my fave for sure but who would have thought that many carbs. When looking at fruit I don't see carbs, but this is an eye opener for sure.

Conniecrafter said...

I will have to say I have never thought about what I ate as being good or bad for my teeth other than sticky stuff, like when I have a caramel apple

Snowbird said...

You are a constant source of fascinating information Jan!xxx

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent list! Thank you! Staying away from white bread, and pickles!! Big Hugs!