Foods that Keep Your Teeth Clean

It’s important to brush your teeth after meals or snacks, but when you’re on the go that can sometimes be difficult. Did you know that there are actually foods that keep your teeth clean? Here’s how to spot these dental-friendly foods for smart snacking to keep your smile bright.

Whole Fruits

Apples have gained the nickname of “nature’s toothbrush” because biting into their crisp texture can help to scrub your teeth clean. Pears and other crunchy fruit can have a similar effect. Oranges and pineapples are also excellent choices because their tartness can help to increase saliva production and wash away plaque and bacteria. They can be acidic, though, which can be tough on your enamel, so take care to rinse your mouth with water after eating them. Strawberries are special because not only do they help to clean your teeth, they contain an enzyme called malic acid that can help to whiten your teeth naturally, as well.

Fresh Veggies

Raw celery and carrots are also foods that keep your teeth clean because, like apples, their crunchy texture can help to scrub your teeth and massage your gums as you chew.

Hard Cheeses

Some cheeses can also help to clean your teeth, in addition to containing nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to remineralize and strengthen your teeth. Look for hard cheeses that aren’t sticky or gooey, so they won’t leave behind a residue on your teeth.


Xylitol is another wonderful choice. Xylitol is a sweetener, but unlike traditional table sugar, it has been shown to benefit dental health instead of negatively impacting it. While traditional sugars feed the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth which can produce an acid that erodes dental enamel, xylitol actually works to neutralize the pH balance of your mouth which can reduce the bacteria content over time and lessen the likelihood of cavities forming.

Keep Up Your Routine!

Of course, foods that keep your teeth clean are no replacement for flossing and brushing your teeth daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste and getting a professional dental cleaning regularly, so keep up your normal dental hygiene routine as often as possible. But when you’re out for a quick lunch or need a midday boost while rushing to your next meeting, these healthy options can be a great way to enjoy a snack that can nourish and whiten your smile with minimal negative effect.

Call our St. Helena Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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