Fill up on these deliciously fresh foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Dessert of oatmeal, banana, yogurt, blueberries and almond in glass bowls on rustic wooden background. Vintage toned picture.

When it comes to dental health, what people eat and drink has a powerful impact on the health of their teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly are only part of the equation.

Here’s our pick of foods that will help maintain the health of your pearly whites.

1. Water

It is the primary component of our saliva; it helps stimulate saliva production which deposits essential minerals into teeth. It also washes away food particles and keeps our gums hydrated.

2. Nuts

Nuts are a great source of vitamins and minerals for our teeth. Most nuts, especially cashews and almonds are rich in calcium, phosphate and magnesium. Nuts are also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on some inflammatory conditions such as gum disease.

3. Apples

Eating fibrous fruits like apples and pears stimulates the production of saliva, which can reduce tooth decay by lowering the levels of mouth bacteria.

"Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that can naturally whiten your teeth."

4. Cheese

Cheese is high in calcium, phosphorus and caesin. This combination increases dental plaque pH, which decreases the odds of developing cavities. Cheese also stimulates saliva production, which flushes out food particles left in our mouths and acts as a buffer against high levels of acidity.

5. Carrots

Carrots and other crunchy vegetables like celery and cucumbers mechanically clean teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, which helps keeps plaque away.

6. Berries

Blueberries are a powerhouse of polyphenols, which are acids that repel bacteria. This limits the formation of a sticky plaque biofilm on our teeth, which can help minimise the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid that can naturally whiten your teeth.

"Basil is a natural antibiotic that helps reduce plaque build up, and is a great natural breath freshener."

7. Milk

Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium. Calcium is a primary component of a mineral called hydroxyapatite that strengths tooth enamel and jaw bone.

8. Basil

Basil is a natural antibiotic that helps reduce plaque build up, and is a great natural breath freshener.

9. Tea

Drinking green or black tea without sugar delivers fluoride to the mouth. Black tea also contains polyphenols, which slow the growth of a chemical that helps plaque stick to teeth. Green tea contains an antioxidant called catechin that interferes with the inflammatory process, which is great for people prone to inflammatory gum conditions such as gingivitis.

10. Clove oil

Clove oil can help reduce gum inflammation and freshens breath. Mix a few drops of clove oil in warm water and gargle.

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