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Clean your teeth while you eat: a guide to nature’s toothbrushes

Can you clean your teeth while you eat? It sounds too good to be true. But if you choose the right foods, you really could be naturally polishing those pearly whites.

When it comes to caring for our teeth, lots of us know what foods we shouldn’t be eating, but less of us know which foods are good for our dental health, including nature’s toothbrushes - foods which help to naturally clean our teeth!

We’ve compiled a list of the best natural teeth and gum scrubbers, so you can enjoy munching on them even more now, knowing your smile can benefit.

green and red apples

1. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – and the dentist. The fibre in apples, particularly their hard skins, helps scrub the teeth and acts as a natural gum massager. The juicy flesh works well in removing other food debris caught between the teeth.

Be aware that apples are also high in natural sugars, so you should rinse your mouth with water after eating them to get rid of acid that could damage your teeth and gums.

a bowl of ripe strawberries on a wooden table

2. Strawberries

Despite their wonderfully sweet flavour, strawberries are naturally low in sugar, making them an ideal healthy snack. Like other fruits, the fibre helps brush away dirt on the surface of the teeth. Strawberries also contain malic acid, which is a natural enamel whitener so eating these could also help contribute to a sparkling smile.

fresh kale leaves laid out on a grey stone worktop

3. Greens

Leafy green vegetables give your mouth a healthy workout, with their fibre content scrubbing away food debris and plaque as you eat them. Not only are the likes of spinach, kale and celery all high in fibre with no sugar content, they also contain calcium and B vitamins. Calcium strengthens teeth and bones and B vitamins help prevent and treat gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease.

three fresh carrots on a rustic blue, wooden board

4. Carrots

Frequently rumoured to improve our night-time vision, carrots are more likely to benefit your dental health than to help you see in the dark. Their crunchy texture requires a lot of chewing which triggers saliva production and naturally cleans your teeth. Carrots also contain several B vitamins which fight gingivitis alongside their many other health-boosting properties.

Wooden bowl with filled with walnut, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews, on white table top view

5. Nuts

Not only are nuts full of healthy fats, they’re great for cleaning and strengthening your teeth. Like carrots, these crunchy snacks can help us produce saliva which rinses down the teeth and regulates the acidity – or pH – of the mouth. Certain nuts like almonds are packed full of calcium, a mineral that your body needs to maintain strong teeth and bones.

a selection of cheeses on a marble board

6. Cheese

Cheese lovers will be thrilled to know that when eaten in moderation, cheese can be very good for teeth. It contains high levels of phosphate and calcium, which naturally strengthen teeth and bones. It also helps balance the pH level in your mouth. This means less harmful tooth-eroding acid, more cleansing saliva, and less tooth decay. Eating cheese after a meal can counteract the acid left behind by a meal, so bring on the cheese board please!

Find your local Bupa Dental Care practice

It’s important to look after your teeth and to get regular dental check-ups for long-term oral health. To book an appointment with a Bupa Dental Care dentist, search for your local practice.

Find your local practice

Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

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