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Maintaining oral health is very important. To stave off gum disease, gingivitis and a host of other diseases, brushing and flossing every day is critical. However, this alone is not enough to keep your mouth in great shape. What we eat has a direct effect on how healthy we are, and this includes our gums and teeth. As you might expect, there are certain foods which should be avoided or at least consumed at a bare minimum, and there are others that more of us need to include in our diets.

If you are concerned about the difficulty of incorporating these specific foods onto your current grocery list, don’t be. The reason being that certain groups of food (i.e. dairy products) are a great choice overall. Thus, if you want to maintain your pearly whites and keep from getting infected and/or weakened from decay, here is a helpful list of healthy food choices.

The Right (and wrong) Foods for Healthy Teeth

Milk, cheese and yogurt

We told you the dairy group came in at the top of the list. These foods get the gold medal, because they contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorous. These minerals are instrumental in protecting tooth enamel, which is very important. Once gone, enamel never comes back. This is why it is crucial to ensure its longevity, and dairy foods are a great way for doing that.

Water-soluble fruits such as apples and pears

All fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, but those which contain a high amount of water better serve our teeth by minimizing the deteriorating effects of sugar. Since they are more acidic, limes and lemons should be consumed sparingly or with larger meals. Try to avoid eating these foods by themselves whenever possible.

Sugarless gum

Who would have thought gum could be healthy for your teeth? In its sugarless form, chewing gum is great for the fact that it helps the mouth produce saliva, which is used to moisture and wash away food particles.

Candy, pop, cake, etc

We figured this one may have grabbed your attention. It can’t be stressed enough that these foods should account for a small amount of your diet. They have no nutritional value and can increase the rate of tooth decay substantially. Do yourself a favor and stick with healthier options. Your mouth will thank you!