There is no replacement for daily brushing and flossing when it comes to keeping your children’s teeth healthy and clean, but there are a few different types of food that can help keep things clean between brushings!
There's no question about it: making sure your children are eating wholesome, nutritious food is an important part of keeping their teeth healthy and strong. Nutritionally dense foods contain many vitamins and minerals that support long-term oral health.
Easily the most important factor in good oral health, though, is a thorough and consistent daily oral hygiene routine. It's the first and most important line of defense when it comes to preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
However, there’s are certain foods and drinks that can help remove bacteria and plaque from teeth between brushing and flossing sessions.
The following are 5 types of foods that can help keep teeth clean.
Cheese - Cheese contains calcium and phosphate, and together these help keep the pH levels in the mouth balanced. It also preserves and rebuilds enamel, and most importantly in this context, increases the production of saliva, which plays an important role in washing the bacteria and plaque off the teeth.
Fruit - Certain fruits contain naturally abrasive elements, and eating them can gently ‘scrub’ plaque off of your teeth. Of course, they’re absolutely not a replacement for brushing, but can give your teeth a small cleanliness boost throughout the day. Try apples, kiwis, and strawberries for this naturally abrasive effect.
Vegetables - Crunchy veg like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumbers can help clean gums because they require more chewing the break down. Onions contain antibacterial sulfur compounds, and tests show that they kill various types of bacteria, especially when raw (not recommended if breath is a concern, however!). Celery produces saliva, which neutralizes acid that causes demineralization and cavities, and helps wash bacteria away.
Water - Water is important for keeping teeth clean for a couple of reasons. Staying hydrated allows the mouth to produce enough saliva to effectively wash away bacteria and plaque, and water is by far the best drink to keep you hydrated. But water also also flushes that bacteria and plaque away while you drink it, and many public water supplies add fluoride, which can help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. If ever you find yourself needing to clean your teeth without a toothbrush at hand, pour yourself a glass of water and swish as a stopgap cleaning method.
Whole Grains - Whole grains are high in fibre. High-fiber foods keep saliva flowing, which as you by now know, is important in flushing away bacteria and plaque. Foods such as bran, brown rice, whole-grain cereals and pasta are good choices for whole grains.