When it comes to oral health, the saying “You are what you eat” couldn’t ring more true. Consuming a lot of sugary foods, including candy and soda, can quickly contribute to tooth decay (cavities) within your teeth. Even if you brush regularly, if you aren’t brushing soon enough after consuming these foods, sugar will have hours to spend harming your teeth before you rinse them clean again.

When your diet is less than ideal, decline in your oral health is one of the first symptoms you’ll experience, according to the ADA (American Dental Association). While brushing often is important, the better solution is to focus on eating teeth-healthy foods to up your oral health. Here are some to eat more often.

#1 Cheese

If you like cheese, we’ve got good news! “Say cheese” will have you smiling brighter than ever before once you realize that consuming cheese raises your oral pH and lowers the risk of tooth decay. It also has lots of protein and calcium, along with nutrients that help strengthen the enamel of your teeth.

 

#2 Yogurt

Just like cheese, yogurt is beneficial for your teeth health because it’s high in protein and calcium. Yogurt also has lots of probiotics (“good bacteria”) that can contribute to healthier gums as they crowd out the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Opt for a plain variety, like Greek Yogurt, without any added sugar.

 

#3 Leafy Greens

While leafy greens are present on just about every list of healthy foods that you should be consuming more often, they aren’t exactly considered tasty by most people. But, maybe knowing that they are filled with vitamins and minerals will help convince you to eat them a bit more often. Spinach and kale are particularly great for oral health because they are high in calcium, strengthening your teeth’s enamel. They also have a type of B vitamin, known as folic acid, that offers many different health benefits (including the potential to treat gum disease for pregnant women).

 

#4 Apples

Although you should try to steer clear of sugary foods when considering the health of your teeth, the ADA says that apples are one exception. Apples and other fruits may taste sweet and delicious, but they also have high contents of water and fiber. Eating an apple produces lots of saliva, which helps rinse away food particles and bacteria. The fibrous texture also works to stimulate your gums. While it’s no comparison to brushing your teeth, it can tide you over between meals.

 

#5 Carrots

Similarly to apples, carrots are beneficial to your oral health because they’re both crunchy and full of fiber. A handful of raw baby carrots after a meal helps increase saliva production, which reduces the risk of cavities developing inside your teeth. They’re also an excellent source of Vitamin A.

 

While eating great foods helps with preventative oral care, you should always schedule your 6-month cleanings. Schedule yours online today!