It seems that dentists and dental hygienists have a bad reputation for naming off a bunch of foods that aren’t very good for your teeth.
Well… to get rid of that reputation, I’ve decided to do the opposite. Here’s a list of 16 snacks that you’ll enjoy almost as much as your teeth will:
List of Foods that Are Good for Your Teeth
1 – Whole Wheat Bread – The rise of processed starchy foods over the past few decades has no doubt caused many cavities. White bread with added sugar seems to now be a staple in many homes. Rather than reaching for something with lots of added sugar to get your carbohydrates, try some whole wheat bread – your teeth and your body will thank you. My wife makes this whole wheat bread recipe – it tastes pretty good, too.
2 – Fresh Vegetables – Celery, Carrots, Radishes, Cucumbers, Broccoli, and the list could go on! Fibrous foods, like vegetables are able to stimulate the salivary glands to release lots of saliva, which in turn protects the teeth. Vegetables also don’t have as much sugar as fruits. An easy way to that we have found to add vegetables to our diet is by mixing some together in a salad. Our favorite is cucumber tomato salad.
3 – Fresh Fruit – Yes, fruit does have sugar, but it also provides valuable nutrients for the body. Fresh fruit is a great choice because it is also fibrous, which makes it takes longer to chew, which releases more saliva which helps your teeth. This makes it a good match for a healthy mouth in spite of the sugars it contains. Canned fruit is also good, just make sure that it’s not soaking in a sugary syrup. If it has added sugar, it might be doing more harm than good.
For more info on fruit and oral health, read the article Is Fruit Good or Bad for Your Teeth?
4 – Plain Yogurt with Fruit – Most of the brands of yogurt at the store seem to think that when you add fruit to pure yogurt, you need to add a few teaspoons of sugar to make it taste good. Try making your own fruit-flavored yogurt by adding fruit to plain yogurt.
5 – Cottage Cheese with Fresh Peaches or Pears – I’ll be honest. This used to gross me out just thinking about it… It may not sound too appetizing to you, either. But, I have to say that after trying it, it’s a pretty good snack. Try it — you might just like it, but maybe not as much as your teeth will.
6 – Cheese – Cheese is great for your teeth since it contains calcium, and phosphates. It also neutralizes harmful acid created by the plaque in your mouth. There are even little snack-sized 100 calorie packs of delicious cheese that you can take with you wherever you go!
7 – Soups – Chicken soups in the winter warm you up and make your teeth happy! A warning – Be careful with certain soups such as stews and tomato soups that contain lots of sugar.
8 – Nuts -Nuts are a great source of nutrition that won’t harm your teeth. Peanuts are a great choice. Watch out for peanut butter, as it can contain a lot of added sugar. Just make sure that you don’t crack the shells with your teeth!
9 – Popcorn – Popcorn is a great food for snacking on. It beats out all of the other snacks such as potato chips and cheese puffs because it’s not made of refined starch. Just be sure to floss after you eat it or your dental hygienist may find some popcorn remains in your mouth at your next checkup. It happened to me when I was a teenager. She asked me if I’d had popcorn recently. I said, “I think so.” That turned out to be the right answer.
10 – Milk – Cow’s milk has three key substances: calcium, phosphorus, and casein. All of those are believed to prevent cavities. Many different studies have even shown that after drinking milk, the bacteria on your teeth don’t really do any harm to your teeth. Here’s one such study, and another one.
11 – Hard Boiled Eggs – They are extremely portable and even come in a natural hard package. Mix things up and make it a deviled egg – just don’t add sugar.
12 – Meats such as turkey and chicken. Better yet, add it to some whole wheat bread and make a sandwich that will delight your incisors. Some processed lunch meats can contain a lot of added sugar, so be careful when shopping.
13 – Seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Make your own when you carve pumpkins this Halloween or buy some at the store. If you buy seeds pre-packaged, just check out the ingredients first to ensure that they aren’t sugar-laden.
14 – Smoothies made from milk, fresh fruit, and/or yogurt – This is a great treat that does have some sugar in it, but it’s much better to get your sugar from milk and fresh fruit than it is to get it from sticky candy such as caramel, jelly beans, sour patch kids, or toffee.
15 – Sugar-free chewing gum – Sugar-free chewing gum is a great way to promote salivary flow in your mouth. Saliva can washes away food, neutralizes acid in the mouth, and can repair damaged teeth. If you can’t brush after you eat, try chewing a piece of gum. Some gums, such as this Trident gum contain xylitol, which is a sugar-alcohol that can actually kill the bacteria that ruin your teeth.
16 – Sugar-free candy – Sugar-free candy also promotes salivary flow in the mouth. Sucking on sugar-free candy is much better than bathing all of your teeth in a hard-candy sugar bath for 15-20 minutes at a time.
What Other Tooth-Friendly Foods Can You Think Of?
I’m sure I missed some. Are there any snacks that you like to eat that don’t hurt your teeth? Let us all know about them in the comments section below!