4 foods for a healthy mouth

Try these foods for healthy teeth and gums

1 / 5
woman with a healthy smile

Chew for healthy teeth

The act of chewing produces saliva, which is good for your teeth. "It flushes out acid so teeth don't dissolve," says Dr. Tony Iacopino, dean of the University of Manitoba's faculty of dentistry. "It also contains calcium and phosphate ions, which are the building blocks for enamel. They are required to rebuild enamel and actually help re-mineralize the tooth after an attack by acidic foods. And saliva also contains a whole range of antimicrobial and antifungal compounds that can help to prevent infections."

2 / 5
Woman chewing gum

Sugarless gum

Usually, foods that are in your mouth for a longer time-such as sugarless chewing gum, lozenges and candies flavoured with sugar substitute-are good because they stimulate saliva flow.

3 / 5
marble cheese

Cheese

Cheese is good for teeth because it has a high pH, which neutralizes acid. Says Iacopino: "If you are having dessert or something sweet and there's cheese around, finish off with a piece."

4 / 5
cranberries

Cranberries

A study published in the Journal of the Can­ad­ian Dental Association showed that cranberries contain properties that may be beneficial in treating cavities and periodontal disease.

5 / 5
veggies

Safe snacks

Good snack foods that won't harm your teeth's enamel include raw fruit and raw vege­tables, plain yogurt, hard-boiled or devilled eggs, nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and melba toast, suggests the Canadian Dental Association. Dr. Alastair Nicoll, a dentist in Elkford, B.C. says the sugar they contain is not as easily metabolized into acid.

Related:
5 foods that will destroy your teeth
6 ways to soothe sensitive teeth
13 tricks to keep your gums and teeth clean