Eating a variety of foods is the reason why humans have teeth, but not all snacks are good for oral health. Sugars, for instance, help fuel oral bacteria, which are responsible for cavities. Acidic items, on the other hand, can weaken the enamel and increase the risk of damage. But while there are several food items wreaking havoc on oral health, Athens Family Dental notes that there are plenty of nutritious alternatives to choose from. To help you keep your teeth and gums intact, this dental clinic of Athens, GA, highlights a few different snacks you can smile about.  

5 Foods to Help Protect Your Smile

1. Nuts

Nuts contain a variety of nutrients, which help support oral health. For example, the calcium and lean protein found in almonds provide the necessary building blocks for strong teeth. Cashews are also known to help stimulate saliva production, which, helps rinse away harmful debris from the mouth. However, you should avoid munching on really hard nuts if you have veneers or crowns—the force may crack the prosthetic.  

2. Pears & Apples

cavitiesPears contain vitamin C, which helps boost immunity to stave off infection risk. This sweet fruit also neutralizes acids in the mouth, which can wear away at the enamel. If you don’t like pears, apples contain many beneficial vitamins and provide a fibrous texture that helps with day-to-day teeth cleaning.

3.  Cheese

Cheese contains a lot of calcium, which protects the mouth against gum disease and strengthens the teeth to lower the risk of cavities. Similar to apples, cheese is considered a “detergent food” that can help scrub bacteria and small food particles off of your teeth.

4. Popcorn  

While you should avoid popcorn if you wear braces, this movie-time favorite offers many benefits for oral health. When eaten un-buttered, popcorn can help clean enamel surfaces, making it a better choice over potato chips or other carb-heavy snacks. Popcorn is also rich in dietary fiber, which has been linked to helping individuals preserve tooth and gum tissue.

5. Fibrous Veggies

If you’re looking for a low-calorie snack, your mouth may benefit from munching on carrot sticks, celery, or a kale salad. In addition to the many beneficial nutrients they contain, fibrous veggies like these can help clear away plaque and increase salivary flow to help neutralize harmful acids in the mouth.

Adopting a healthy diet can certainly do wonders for your overall oral health, but it’s still important to get professional teeth cleanings every six months from a trusted dentist such as those at Athens Family Dental. Serving patients of all ages, this dental clinic is equipped with all the resources necessary to make sure your teeth and gums remain in good shape. Visit this clinic online to learn how this team can help prevent and resolver oral health problems, such as cavities and misalignment. To schedule an appointment with a friendly Athens, GA, dentist, call (706) 548-3279.