February is dental health month. Never overlook the powerful cleansing properties of simple, everyday foods. Here are some recommendations from Orthodontics Australia.

  1.  Cheese. Every time you eat a meal with breads, sweets, citrus and soda your teeth are exposed to acids. Eating cheese can counteract the the tooth-decaying causing acids, making it a great choice for dessert.
  2. Fish. Calcium is important in your diet in order to protect your teeth and gums from disease. However, your body will not absorb it if you do not have enough vitamin D. Fatty fish such as salmon is a fantastic source of vitamin D, allowing your teeth and gums to fully absorb it.
  3. Oranges. The vitamin C in citrus strengthens blood vessels and connective tissue and slows down the progression of gum disease by reducing inflammation.
  4. Water. Optimum levels of water in your saliva are essential to the breakdown of food, neutralising bacterial acid and preventing tooth decay. While not as good as a toothbrush and floss, it can still aid in reducing plaque by rinsing away food and debris.
  5. Fruits & Vegetables. High fibre fruits and vegetables actually scrub teeth like a toothbrush and stimulate saliva because of the extra chewing they require. Keep fresh carrots, celery, cucumber and apples (often referred to as nature’s toothbrushes) on hand all the time and your teeth will thank you.
  6. Green & Black Tea. Polyphenols, which are found in green & black tea, kill the bacteria that cause plaque. How? Bacteria feed on the sugars in your mouth and, once they have had their feast, they excrete tooth enamel destroying acids. This makes tea a great choice for after a meal.
  7. Chocolate. Dark chocolate is a superfood for teeth because it contains a compound called CBH which has been shown to help harden tooth enamel making your teeth less susceptible to tooth decay. However, not every chocolate is good for you. It is the cocoa bean that houses the good stuff, so opt for dark chocolate, at least  70% cacao, and eaten in moderation.