Tooth-cleaning foods to add to your diet

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Most of us are aware that sugary treats and indulgent desserts are bad for our teeth, but have you ever thought about foods that are good for your teeth? We often focus on sweets, cakes and chocolate when talking about diet and oral health, but there are many foods you can add to your diet to clean your teeth and protect against decay and gum disease.

Bupa dental hygienist, Sakina Syed and Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific advisor to the British Dental Association, have put together a list of natural tooth-cleaners to encourage people to improve their diets and boost their oral health at the same time.

At the top of the list lies apples. Apples have high water content, but it’s their rubbery, leather-like skin that holds the key to improved dental health. Breaking down the fibrous coating acts as a natural massage for the gums, and chewing it can also stimulate saliva production and clean the teeth. As summer approaches, the experts also recommend stocking up on salad items, including celery, lettuce, spinach, kale, and cucumber. These foods contain fibre, they have a very low calorific value and they’re great at cleansing the mouth and removing debris.

People who are looking for healthy snacking options are advised to add a bag of raw carrots to their lunchbox. Carrots are high in fibre, and their crunchy texture massages the gums and increases saliva production. Carrots are also a good source of B vitamins, which help to protect the gums.

For those who have an urge to eat a little something extra after dinner, dentists recommend opting for cheese, rather than biscuits, cakes, or sweets. Cheese has high pH value and it’s a good source of calcium. Although it can be beneficial for dental health, cheese is high in fat, so make sure you eat it in moderation.

To complete the list, add nuts to your daily diet. Nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals, and chewing them stimulates the gums and the salivary glands. If you are eating nuts, take care to floss, as they can get stuck in the gaps between the teeth.

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