There is a pretty good chance that you’ve heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The popular phrase has been around since the 1860s, though it was previously the much wordier “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” While there is no substitute for regular cleanings it is true that some foods, apples included, can help improve your overall health and even improve your teeth!
We should probably start with the apple. Crunchy fruits and vegetables can increase the production of saliva. Saliva not only keeps your mouth moist, it contains proteins and minerals that can protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay or gum disease! Apples, carrots, and celery are healthy snacks that can help keep you and your mouth in great shape. Carrots are also filled with vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy tooth enamel.
Speaking of tooth enamel, many of the foods we consume contain high levels of acidity which eats away at our teeth. Dairy products like cheese or milk are so close to neutral on the pH scale that it can be used to reduce the acid in your mouth.
Raw onions and garlic contain powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can remove bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. Be sure to have a toothbrush, or at least some mouthwash, available if you do decide to take a bite of a raw onion or garlic clove though!
An occasional piña colada is not only good for the soul it can also help whiten your teeth! Pineapples are the only naturally grown food that contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory that acts as a stain remover and can break up the plaque that builds on your teeth.
Lastly, Water. Beyond simply being the basis of all life on the planet, and the universe for that matter, there isn’t much that water can’t do to improve your health. With regards to your teeth water encourages saliva production and can also rinse your mouth of loose plaque and debris. Additionally, water can be used as an appetite suppressant, decreasing the chances you start reaching for a sugary snack!
We should probably mention one more time that eating or drinking any of these is no substitute for regular cleanings but they can help you in-between visits. As a favor to all of us here at the Farber Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants, we do ask that you don’t take a bite of raw onion or garlic before your appointment!