It’s possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth.
When you don’t have a toothbrush handy, try these everyday foods to maintain your oral hygiene.


Eating can help with your oral hygiene

The food we need to nourish our bodies can often do a number on our teeth. Sticky or sugary food particles help the bacteria in our mouths to produce acids, leading to tooth decay. That’s why it’s so important to keep our teeth clean between meals.

At Tracey Bell Dental and Aesthetic Medical Clinic, we are dedicated to improving your total health through dentistry. Because of the overwhelming evidence that oral health and total health are connected – the mouth is part of the systemic whole – it’s important to understand how food affects your teeth & gums.

Food is not just sustenance, not just fuel and certainly not just a diversion. Food nurtures and heals. So the type of food you eat affects your health and well-being. The right foods help you feel energetic, sleep better and prevent sickness.

Generally, good nutrition is beneficial for oral health as well as total health. Fill your diet with fresh produce, nuts and seeds, legumes, lean meats and whole grains. These contribute to a more alkaline state in the body, which defends against bacteria and inflammation.

Avoid food with artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, refined flour and partially hydrogenated oils. These contribute to a more acidic state in the body, which increases bacteria and creates inflammation.

“Nothing is as effective as a brush and a floss twenty minutes after you’ve eaten,” points out Tracey. But if cleaning your mouth after a meal isn’t always possible, there are other ways to do a little housekeeping for your kisser. And believe it or not, some of that involves eating!


Here are 11 foods that can actually help with your oral hygiene, benefit your mouth.


1. Apples, carrots and celery

These snacks aren’t known as dental detergents for nothing. Crunchy fruits and vegetables increase the flow of cleansing saliva, giving your mouth a fresh feeling.  Just be sure the fruits you choose between meals aren’t high in acid; they can be hard on your tooth enamel. The Celery, a crunchy vegetable made mainly of water, chewing celery produces saliva, neutralizing the bacteria Streptococcus mutans that causes cavities. It’s also a naturally abrasive food that massages gums and cleans between teeth.


2. Cheese or milk

Acid from the foods we eat can eat away at our teeth. But many dairy products can actually reduce the acid in your mouth. And a glass of milk or a piece of cheese is filling. “It satisfies you as far as hunger goes, and sugar found in milk doesn’t contribute to tooth decay”. High in phosphate and calcium, cheese helps balance the pH in the mouth, killing bacteria and preserving tooth enamel. This prevents cavities and gum disease.


3. Raw onion

Try a slice or two of fresh onion on your sandwich. Research showed, that raw onions have powerful antibacterial properties. In an experiment, onions wiped out four strains of bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. Of course, after eating raw onions you may end up with killer breath, however they are strongest when eaten fresh and uncooked.


4. Cashews

Cashew nut shell oil has been shown to have microbe-fighting properties against bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Not only can these nuts help keep your teeth clean, they may also clear your skin – research shows cashew nut shell oil helps to fight one of the bacteria that cause acne.


5. Wasabi

Are you a sucker for sushi? Now you have another excuse to snack on it. The wasabi that’s usually served on the side may have oral health benefits. Research in Japan has found that this spicy green cousin to horseradish can stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth.


6. Water

Wash your mouth out with water! Drinking water can cleanse your teeth. In fact, water swished around in your mouth is as effective as mouthwash at removing bacteria. If you’re trying to control your weight, even more reason to make water your friend. Between meals, a glass or two of water can keep your tummy feeling filled. It also keeps your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva – the best defense against bacteria.


7. Sweet Potatoes

Along with carrots, pumpkin and broccoli, sweet potatoes have high amounts of Vitamin A, which is essential for tooth enamel formation and promotes healing of gum tissue.


8. Kiwi

Most fruits contain Vitamin C, which is vital for the health of your gum tissue, but kiwis contain the highest amount. Without Vitamin C, the collagen in your gums breaks down, the gums become tender and more susceptible to the bacteria causing periodontal disease.


9. Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds are high in calcium, sesame seeds preserve the bone around the teeth & gums. They also help slough off plaque while helping build tooth enamel.


10. Shiitake Mushrooms

These mushrooms contain lentinan, a naturally occurring sugar that prevents mouth bacteria from forming plaque.


11. Raisins

Sweet and tasty, raisins contain phytochemicals like oleanolic acid that inhibit two species of oral bacteria to prevent cavities and gum disease.







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