Eating doesn’t always make your teeth dirtier. In fact, some foods actually make them cleaner. In family dental circles, we refer to these edibles as detergent foods. We’ll list some of these foods for you to add to your daily diet.
Here is a short list to consider:
- Popcorn (minus the salt, cheese, butter, and other flavoring)
- Cheese (and other unsweetened dairy products)
- Unsweetened dark chocolate
As you can see, most of the foods on the list are of the firm and crunchy type. They act like bristles that scrub your teeth while you’re chewing. We also listed dairy because it contains bone-strengthening calcium. In addition, dairy neutralizes acidic buildup that occurs in the mouth after eating sugar, grains, and processed foods.
As for dark chocolate, cocoa contains an antioxidant known as tannin, which gives the chocolate its dark pigment. Tannin also provides a coating that prevents bacteria from clinging to the teeth. Dark Chocolate, however, is also a teeth stainer. Our cosmetic dentists recommend no more than one serving a day.
Timing is also important. We recommend eating these foods last with every meal. This is especially the case if you don’t have readily access to a toothbrush.
These selections also make great midday snacks or additions to a child’s school lunch. Consider adding string cheese, apple slices, and a bite-size dark chocolate bar in your kid’s lunch pail.
Healthy dental hygiene is a three-step process: eating healthy, brushing daily, and visiting the dentist. People neglect the third step all too often. Please stop by Mukilteo Dental Arts for a checkup from our oral surgeons. At home, make a habit of eating at least one serving of detergent food with every meal.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek