News & media Blog 10 foods and drinks with surprising oral health benefits Week 3 of National Smile Month will see us focus on what role nutrition and diet have on our oral health. As part of National Smile Month, we’ve highlighted ten foods and drinks which you might not realise can help improve your oral health massively. Do you recognise any on this list? Yogurt, milk and cheeses Any type of healthy diary product has calcium which will help strengthen your bones and teeth. Yoghurts and cheese are ideal as they contain these vitamins and minerals, whilst also being soft for teeth that need extra care. Milk is also good for your teeth as it contains roughly the same nutrients and vitamins. Spinach Any dark, green vegetable in fact is good not only for your body but also for your teeth as well. While being well-known for levels of iron, it contains high levels of calcium that help to rebuild enamel, spinach is a great addition to any plate. Others in this category can include but are not limited to kale and collard greens. Almonds Healthy snacks such as almonds can really help with several dental issues. These are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Sugar can have an adverse effect on teeth by raising the acidity levels in the mouth and badly impacting the enamel. Salmon Salmon has long been considered a healthy food due to its low fat and high protein intake. Protein can help gums to revitalise as it is needed to repair damaged muscle tissue around the body. It also possesses vitamin D which helps the body to absorb calcium allowing for healthy teeth and bones. Carrots Carrots are good for a variety of reasons especially when eaten raw. Their crunchy texture can help clean your teeth acting as a natural toothbrush, you still need to brush your teeth properly remember. The chewing action can also help to massage your gums and improve their health and blood circulation. Keratin and vitamin A are also present in this vegetable which can help repair tooth enamel. Lean meat Any type of lean meat such as chicken is good as a source of protein for your teeth and gums. It is also a great source of phosphorus, a type of nutritional mineral that helps bone production and remodelling. Without phosphorous, your teeth could end up chipping very easily even if you have a large amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Celery Celery is similar in how it can affect your mouth as carrots act as a natural toothbrush to an extent. It also has a great combination of vitamin K and calcium. Vitamin K aids in transporting calcium around the body. Celery can also help fight gum disease and increase saliva production, though be sure to check with your dentist about what is right for you. Green Tea/Black Tea Drinking cups of green and black tea can help your dental health. This is because the drink lacks any sugar (provided you haven’t added any) and can help keep saliva in your mouth while lowering its acidity. It can also help wash away dental plaque and reduce cavities, something that is great for anyone’s mouth. Tea is also a natural source of fluoride which helps strengthen enamel. Apples Much like carrots discussed earlier in this article, they also can act as a natural toothbrush though this can be a lesser extent depending on the variety. As they also have low acidity levels unlike oranges, they could keep not only the doctor away but the dentist too! Fruits such as oranges while being very healthy can impact your teeth by raising the levels of acidity in your mouth. Over a sustained period, this can wear down your enamel, hydrating with water regularly can help with this. Still Water Last but certainly not least water is the best drink for your teeth as well as for hydrating your body. Over the course of the day bacteria can build up in your mouth and drinking water can help your saliva replenish and do its job of bringing your mouth to a normal PH level. As it isn’t acidic, it has no chance whatsoever of damaging your teeth unlike other soft drinks. Are there any foods or drinks on this list which have surprised you? To find out more ways you can help your mouth this Nutrition week go to https://www.dentalhealth.org/national-smile-month.