What you eat affects your mouth not only by building healthier teeth and gums but also by helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Changes in your mouth start the minute you eat certain foods. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it is the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth starting the decay process. The more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay. While a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain, lean proteins and unsaturated fats will benefit your overall oral health, there are a few standout foods and nutrients that can really boost it.

Cheese

A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the American Academy of General Dentistry journal, reported at EurekAlert found that eating cheese raised the pit in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.

Yogurt

Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good choice for your teeth’ strength. The probiotics or beneficial found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of calcium, protein and vitamin D, which are essential minerals for oral health. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, which builds and maintains strong, healthy teeth.

Apples

An apple a day could keep the cavities away. Eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of apples also stimulates the gums.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach promote oral health. They are high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel. They also contain folic acid, which helps improve the health of teeth and gums.

Carrots

Carrots are a great source of fibre and vitamin A. Eating raw carrots increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities.

Celery

Celery is a great source of water and fibre-like apples. Celery stimulates the flow of saliva and scraps food particles and bacteria away from your teeth.

Almonds

Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar.

Water

Since it has no calories or sugar, water is always the best option, especially compared to juice or soda. Drinking plenty of water benefits teeth as it helps rinse away both bacteria and the remnants of food. Tap water is better for teeth than bottled water because it contains fluoride, which prevents tooth decay.

When it comes to the health of your teeth, you are what you eat. Your diet makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy smile.

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