How to Chew your way to a Healthier Smile

chew your way to a healthier smile

chew your way to a healthier smileMaryville and Knoxville, TN

A simple change in your daily activities can help improve your health and oral hygiene. For example, swapping out processed foods for healthier options at the grocery store can have multiple health benefits for your teeth and gums as well as your whole body. Crestview Dental Care has compiled this list of foods that will help not only your mouth but also your waistline.

Sugar-Free Gum

Gum is typically made with high levels of sugar, and as you know, sugar is very bad for your teeth. Pair the sugar with the length of time you are chewing one piece, and you have a breeding ground for bacteria that will cause cavities.

When you substitute sugar-free gum for your traditional choice of gum, you not only lose the sugar, but you also gain an incredibly healthy result in your mouth. As you chew sugar-free gum, your mouth begins to produce saliva, which can rinse away any residue that potentially causes cavities. Saliva, which contains calcium and phosphate, can actually strengthen your teeth, although routine brushing and flossing are still recommended.

However, if you grind your teeth at night or have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, it is recommended that you do not chew any gum. The movement of your jaw while chewing gum can cause the teeth grinding habit to get worse and potentially cause damage to those pearly whites.

Crunchy, Raw Vegetables

Taking a bite of any crunchy or raw vegetable can give you dental benefits. However, when you nibble on the veggies like a rabbit, the hard substances actually helps clean your teeth somewhat, removing biofilm and bacteria responsible for tooth decay. In addition, the crunching and chewing of the vegetables create saliva that will naturally rinse the mouth of any remaining acids.

Some of the best vegetables to buy at your local grocer are carrots, celery, and cucumber. Don’t like veggies? Apples and pears also provide good health benefits that also promote good oral health. Even though they have natural sugar, they are also filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.


Studies have shown that cheese lowers acidity levels in the mouth. By reducing the acid level in your mouth, you are also reducing the risk of harmful bacteria that causes cavities. Cheese is high in calcium, so it provides support for your teeth. Also, cheese is filled with a protein called casein, which helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and prevent cavities. And last, but not least, cheese helps balance the pH levels in your mouth. So, when you are at the grocery, remember to think cheese.

Black Tea

Filled with plaque-busting polyphenols, black tea can be a helpful beverage in reducing the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. The compounds in the black tea help the plaque to become less sticky, and therefore, easier to remove during your normal oral care routine. The University of Illinois in Chicago conducted a research study where subjects were asked to rinse their mouth with black tea ten times a day. The study showed that those who rinsed with black tea had significantly less plaque build-up than the control group that participated in the study. While ten times per day may seem excessive for your lifestyle, substituting black tea for coffee in the morning can give you a cleaner looking smile and fresher breath.

Of course, these oral health benefits would only be this significant if you drank sugar-free black tea, not the sweet southern style we are accustomed to here in the south. Also, be mindful that black tea also may cause teeth to stain, so you will want to consume it in moderation.

Your oral health can be easily altered simply by chewing different foods that have a low level of sugar. The chewing and crunching will naturally scrub your teeth and help you remove any sticky residue or substances. However, a regular checkup and cleaning from Crestview Dental Care in Knoxville or Maryville, Tennessee, is always a recommendation to make sure your smile stays healthy and bright. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (865) 982-1700.