Though closed-mouth smiles and sultry smirks have grown increasingly popular — likely due to the influence of the Kardashian clan —it’s not an excuse to abandon the health of your teeth.
While you may choose to hide them underneath a pouted duck lip or even a blank, lifeless expression, you should remain prepared for when smiling comes back in vogue.
Luckily, there is no need to seek out expensive treatments in planning for the smile’s imminent return. There are a number of foods that naturally keep your teeth healthy and sparkling. Even more fortunate, is that this list includes cheese.
Now that’s a fact that would even have Kanye West smiling.
Foods that are high in calcium and protein are paramount in strengthening tooth enamel. Fortunately for dairy lovers, this accounts for the majority of delectables that exist within that food group. Yogurt in particular, however, is full of probiotics and healthy bacteria that help fight cavities. You go, yogurt.
If you needed another reason to vindicate your cheese obsession, you’re in luck. Turns out, not only is cheese good for your soul, it’s good for your pearly whites, too. Similarly with yogurt, cheese contains high levels of both calcium and protein. Eating cheese was also found to raise the mouth's pH level, thus lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Not being one to readily fuel the Kale mania, it has been found to be unparalleled in promoting the health of your teeth. It’s high in calcium for strong enamel, contains folic acid which reduces the risk of gum disease, and chewing the (ahem) garnish also forms sufficient saliva which naturally cleanses your mouth.
The high fibered fruit is typically known for the good it does leaving your body as opposed to going in. However, apparently not only are beans beneficial for healthy digestion, but for healthy teeth, too. As is the way with kale, beans cause your mouth to salivate when eating them. The saliva washes away bacteria while the food itself scrubs your teeth.
“An apple a day…” While the old saying does not hold true for many things such as a case of the flu or broken bones, it is in fact pretty accurate in terms of your dental health. Apples are high in fiber, and like beans and kale, can rinse away bad bacteria. Additionally, however, they contain fluoride, which is found in most toothpaste, and helps lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Though not necessarily health related, strawberries do help you achieve a whiter smile. And what’s the point of healthy teeth if light can’t bounce off of them in a selfie? Strawberries contain malic acid, which naturally whitens tooth enamel. However, be sure to floss out any lingering seeds before you switch to your front camera.
So apparently there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to carrots. Eating carrots reduces the risk of cavities and contributes to the good bacteria in your mouth. They’re also full of Vitamin A, which assists in strengthening bones including teeth.
Like many of the other foods topping this list, almonds are tooth health superstars by being high in calcium and protein and low in sugar. Feel free to go nuts with these nuts as they strengthen enamel and keep your mouth healthy.
Celery is an ideal snack for improving your dental health if cheese and apples are just too exciting for you. Full of water and vitamins A & C, celery helps promote healthy gums. Chewing the rather bland vegetable also assists in scrubbing unhealthy bacteria off your teeth.
More than a Thanksgiving side dish or a means to finishing off that pesky UTI, cranberries foster healthy teeth. Recent studies have shown that eating cranberries interrupts the formation of bacteria that causes plaque. I think I’ll go for an extra serving this November.