Can Fibrous Foods Like Celery and Apples Clean Your Teeth?

Can Fibrous Foods Like Celery and Apples Clean Your Teeth?

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Do Fibrous Foods Clean Teeth?
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The internet is filled with what I like to call “Dental Pollution.” There are a lot of half-truths and myths about oral health. One of the reasons that I started Oral Answers was to provide facts and truths about dentistry to those that have unanswered questions about their oral and dental health.

Apples - Can they Clean Your Teeth?To dispel these myths, I have created a tag on this blog called Dental Myths.  Every time I set the record straight on a dental myth, I will apply the Dental Myths tag so you can easily find these myth-busting articles.

A common dental myth is that fibrous foods like apples, celery, carrots, lettuce, peppers, and many other raw foods can clean your teeth.

This belief has caused more than a few people, I’m sure, to rationalize their lack of oral hygiene, saying that they can simply “eat their way to cleaner teeth.”

The truth of the matter is that fibrous foods do not clean teeth.

Fibrous Foods Do Not Clean Teeth

In the book, Essentials of Dental Caries by Kidd it states the following about the effect fibrous foods have on teeth:

Health foods are very fashionable nowadays; it has been suggested that fibrous foods such as apples and carrots ‘clean’ teeth, thus removing plaque and preventing caries.  Although fibrous foods are preferable to a sucrose snack, there is no evidence that they can ‘clean’ the teeth.

Fibrous foods simply can’t do the same hard work that the bristles on your toothbrush do every day.

Fibrous Foods Are Good for You

This doesn’t mean that fibrous foods aren’t good for you.  They are great for your body (especially your digestive system), and good for your teeth.  Think about it — if your choice is between an apple, or an apple-flavored Jolly Rancher,  then definitely pick the apple!

Conclusion

As beneficial as fibrous foods are for you, they cannot actually clean your teeth; the only thing at your house that can do that is your toothbrush and some dental floss!

Are there other facts or claims you have heard about oral health that make you wonder or seem unclear?  Leave them below in the comments and I will clear them up for you.

Thanks for reading!

7 COMMENTS

  1. This is exactly what I was looking for. Suspecting that this was a myth I came in search of answers. Here you have it in a nutshell. Thanks.
    So many myths and old wives tales – in this day and age.

  2. Apples can clean teeth. That doesn’t mean apples clean everything on the teeth. From my own experiments I know this to be true. I usually have a half an apple after each meal then rinse out my mouth. Eating an apple is just part of it. So much misinformation coming from both sides.

    Saying an apple is enough to clean the teeth is almost like saying brushing teeth and flossing is enough for oral health, when it’s not. Going to the dentist for a cleaning is also necessary …

  3. that means colgate lies

    http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/healthy-foods-list-seven-best-foods-for-your-teeth-0214
    Celery

    Celery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Make celery even tastier by topping it with cream cheese.

  4. The fiberous foods do help. It doesnt do an extensive cleaning as could be accomplished via flossing and brushing, but you do not need a study for common sense logic. I dont care if theres no conclusive study to verify, studies do not say what can or cant happen… They simply witness and make note of what can occur within the parameters they use as the study. Its basic logic. Fiber scrubs. We know it scraps the intestines. Basic logic ductates if it can scrap the intestines of food particles to reduce colon cancer risk, then it can scrap the teeth of plaque as well. Basic logic. Next experience. Let plaque visible build up, eat celery even rub a piece of celery against your teeth. I guarantee the plaque will no longer be visible.

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