Meet Nature's Toothbrushes
Updated: Apr 3
While brushing and flossing are irreplaceable when it comes to oral health, certain foods can help your kid’s toothbrush do its job. Many crunchy fruits and vegetables help clear away food particles as they are chewed. These same foods are nutritious snacks and meal ingredients with vitamins and minerals that help keep developing teeth and gums healthy for years to come!
Crunchy, sweet, and fibrous, watermelon is a secretly healthy sweet treat in the summer for kids and adults alike. It has 25% of your daily requirement for Vitamin C and is high in antioxidants like lycopene, which prevents cell damage that can weaken teeth. Swap your next dessert for watermelon!
This crunchy vegetable literally acts like a toothbrush when eating it raw. Its fibrous texture helps scrub away particles of food stuck to teeth. Carrots are also low in sugar, high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, biotin, and low in fat. Eat carrots as snacks, in soups, or roast them as a healthy side dish.
Pineapple is high in the enzyme, bromelain, which helps fight gum inflammation and gum disease because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. This amazing enzyme also helps break down plaque that accumulates on teeth, keeping teeth whiter. It’s so effective it is included in some tooth whitening toothpastes.
Because celery is hard in texture, it not only helps scrub teeth while chewing, it also increases saliva in the mouth to help clear the food it releases from teeth. To top it off, celery is high in vitamin C, high in antioxidants for gum health, and reduces inflammation. Pair it with peanut butter or cream cheese, in soup, or salad.
Full of protein and calcium and low in sugar, these hard nuts are not only delicious, but also good at getting plaque and bacteria off teeth. Almonds serve well as a simple snack, on top of salads, or in breads and desserts when crushed into smaller bits (and still effective at cleaning teeth!).
A staple in the healthy vegetable category, these little florets work hard in your mouth by removing plaque and pieces of food in between teeth. On top of that, broccoli is full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. Eat it raw dipped in dressing, with salads, in stir fry, or as a side to your favorite protein.
And don’t forget these healthy foods to add in your next snack bag!
Red bell pepper, apples, strawberries, avocado, cheese and yogurt, xylitol gum, sweet potato, and bananas.
Sources: Clean Plates, Eat this, not that!