Most people could rattle off a few foods harmful to teeth without hesitation (caramels, hard candies, soda, etc.). But can you think of foods that are actually good for your teeth? Know which foods help teeth stay healthy and reach for one of these tooth-friendly options when snack time rolls around:
- Almonds: Low in sugar and high in tooth-fortifying calcium, almonds are a great snack for your teeth. Almonds also provide a satisfying crunch that can help alleviate cravings for carb-filled snacks (like potato chips) that begin to break down into sugar as soon as you pop them in your mouth.
- Leafy greens: Greens have tons of benefits for both your overall health and for your teeth, too. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed with calcium, which helps maintain enamel, and contain vitamins like vitamin A and folic acid, which promote dental health.
- Raisins: Contrary to long-held perceptions that raisins cause tooth decay, it’s recently been found that raisins have surprising bacteria-fighting properties. Raisins contain powerful antioxidants, called phytochemicals, that actually inhibit two strains of oral bacteria. Their sweetness comes from fructose and glucose rather than from sucrose, the main cavity-causing sugar. Just be sure to rinse or brush after snacking on these sticky fruits!
- Carrots: Crunchy, raw fruits and veggies are beneficial for your teeth—and carrots are one of the best options. The high fiber content and crunch of raw carrots cause you to chew longer, stimulating saliva flow. This, along with high water content, helps to keep your teeth free of food debris.
- Cheddar cheese: Not only is cheddar cheese loaded with calcium, it has also been found to neutralize acidity in your mouth by increasing pH levels. Because high levels of acidity can lead to tooth decay, cheddar is a great snack when it comes to promoting healthy teeth. If you’re not a fan of cheddar, other medium-to-hard cheeses that promote chewing are also good options.
Whether you’re in the mood for something crunchy, salty, sweet or chewy, there’s a snack out there that can curb your craving and benefit your teeth.
Happy healthy snacking!