The minute you put food or a sip of a drink into your mouth, your saliva goes to work breaking the substance down and preparing your body to digest it. The bacteria in your mouth convert dietary sugar into acids to break down your teeth’s enamel. The more you consume sugary foods and drinks, the more you leave your mouth exposed to decay-causing acids.
Like your saliva, water washes the acid and sugars off your teeth. Water also has fluoride in it. Fluoride is a mineral you find in toothpaste and sometimes mouthwash that protects you against tooth erosion. It naturally occurs in all tap water in Australia.
Milk, plain yogurt, cheese and other dairy products help produce saliva, especially cheese. The calcium in cheese and the phosphates in milk help restore teeth minerals other foods may have caused you to lose.
Green tea has polyphenols in it to interact with the bacteria-induced plaque. They either hold back or kill bacteria, preventing the growth or production of teeth-attacking acid. You may also get some fluoride, depending on the water you brew your tea with. Darker teas, on the other hand, contain tannins, which can cause stains.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Not only healthy for your body, green, leafy veggies like kale are also good for your teeth. Greens, spinach, and other leafy-green vegetables also require you to chew more, which produces more saliva — your teeth’s natural lubricant, tasked with “washing” your teeth.
Foods With Fluoride
Fluoridated water or foods you use fluoridated water to make help your teeth. Some examples are:
- Dehydrated soups
- Powdered juices (with minimal sugar)
- Powdered cereals