These days, it’s rare to go even a single day without being presented with a new list of all the delightful things you cannot (or at least should not) eat and drink. As far as most health groups and advocates are concerned, the list of things we shouldn’t be putting into our bodies these days is considerably larger than its counterpart.
Which is precisely why in this instance, we thought we’d turn things around. Instead of telling you all about the things you should not be eating for the sake of your oral health, we’re instead focusing on five foods that are known to be fantastic for your smile. Some of which may come as more of a surprise than others.
The simple fact of the matter is that in the vast majority of instances, a sensible diet combined with daily use of a high-quality electric toothbrush and regular visits to the dentist are really all that’s needed to hold onto a healthy smile for life. Particularly if you throw a high-end water flosser in for good measure! Nevertheless, all the oral hygiene in the world really isn’t going to get the job done if you don’t focus sufficient time and attention on your diet.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of five tried and tested favourites among dental professionals that are known to be great for your smile:
Cheese. First up, those who are genuinely happiest when eating cheese should find this music to their ears. The reason being that while getting carried away with too much cheese might not be a good idea, cheese is nonetheless rich in calcium and phosphate, contributing to strong and healthy bones and teeth. What’s more, cheese can also help balance the mouth’s acidity levels, which in turn can help keep bacteria under control, while at the same time reducing the risk of gum disease and cavities. So just as long as you know where to draw the line, you really don’t have to feel guilty about indulging your obsession with cheese!
Celery. There are three reasons why celery is one of the best things you can eat, as far as your smile is concerned. The first of which being the fact that celery is made almost entirely out of water – the kind of hydration which is naturally good for your teeth and your body in general. In addition, it takes quite a lot of chewing to get down a stick of celery, which in turn produces plenty of saliva. Saliva being the single most effective thing there is for keeping your teeth and gums in good condition. Last but not least, celery is somewhat on the crisp and crunchy side, in turn resulting in a gentle abrasive action when you chew it – naturally cleaning your teeth and gums as a result. With the added bonus of celery actually burning more calories to eat that it contains, it really is the kind of thing more people could do with eating much more of!
Apples. With apples, it’s a very similar story to celery. Along with containing a lot of water, they can also naturally clean the teeth as you eat them due to their hard and crunchy texture. The added bonus with apples being that along with the chewing action producing more saliva, so too does the sweet or tart flavour of the apple itself. Meaning that you usually end up with a torrent of the stuff making its way in and around your mouth, helping keep things clean and fresh. Reaching for an apple from time to time throughout the day can be a great way of looking after your teeth in between brushing – they also serve as an effective all-natural tooth whitener!
Onions. Contrary to popular belief, onions also come highly recommended as a smile-friendly food. It’s natural to look at onions and immediately associate them with the kind of breath issues absolutely nobody wants. Indeed, consume even a small amount of raw onions and chances are you are going to be looking at rather pungent breath for quite some time. Nevertheless, onions – particularly when consumed raw – are packed with powerful antibacterial compounds which can be absolutely great for oral health. With that quintessentially spicy flavour, you can actually feel them getting to work in and around your mouth. Crunching on raw onion can therefore be great – just as long as you don’t plan on kissing anybody in the near future!
Water. Last but not least, while it may not qualify as a ‘food’ in the traditional sense, water nonetheless deserves an important mention on this list. The reason being that there is in fact nothing you can put in your mouth or your body that’s nearly as important as water. The reason being that hydration is the single most important contributor to overall health and hygiene. What’s more, the more water you drink throughout the day, the less likely you are to turn to things like sugary soft drinks, alcohol and so on. Hence the reason why as far as dentists are concerned, the vast majority of people could do with paying more attention to exactly how much water they drink during the average day.
Of course, each of the above foods (and drinks) can only prove beneficial if balanced with a careful and proactive attitude towards the kinds of things you know you should be staying away from. A list which includes things like sweets, acidic foods, dried fruits, breads, pretzels, popcorn, cakes and pies and so on. While it’s never a good idea to exclude these kinds of things from your diet entirely, they should nonetheless be approached with caution to ensure you don’t go over the top.
And of course, keeping a pack of sugar-free chewing gum with you at all times also comes highly recommended. This way, even if you do succumb to temptation, you at least have something with you to help you fight back!