What you eat and drink plays an important role in keeping your teeth healthy. You probably already know that things like soda and sugary foods are bad for your teeth. But fighting tooth decay is more than just staying away from the bad—it’s also about adding good foods, vitamins and minerals to your diet.

How do you like them apples?

Eating apples has long been recommended as a way to help clean your teeth after eating. Although chewing an apple won’t remove plaque, and it may favor plaque regrowth during the first 24 hours, it does stimulate saliva flow and can cause a cleaning effect similar to brushing.1

But wait! There are even more tooth-healthy foods.

Variety is the spice of life, and variety is also good for your teeth. Here are some more foods that are good for your teeth to add to your shopping list:

  • Dairy products like plain yogurt and cheese can be primary dietary sources of calcium, which strengthens tooth enamel.
  • High-fiber foods like carrots and leafy vegetables require a lot of chewing and can act like a car wash for your teeth.
  • Strawberries contain malic acid, a natural enamel whitener.
  • Sugar-free gum helps clean teeth by stimulating saliva production.

Drink to your tooth health

Eating right isn’t the only way to protect and improve your teeth. There are also many liquid options:

  • Milk has a lot of calcium, protein and vitamin D, which helps keep teeth strong and healthy.
  • Green or herbal teas have a bunch of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, help prevent bone loss and limit the growth of certain bacteria that cause gum disease.
  • Mineral water has high mineral content, as well as calcium phosphate, which can help rebuild tooth enamel.
  • Tap water usually has fluoride, which helps reduce tooth decay and prevent cavities.

Enjoy a piece (or 2) of sugar-free gum

Yes, you can chew gum and protect your teeth—as long as the gum is sugarless. According to The American Dental Association (ADA), chewing sugar-free gum can increase the flow of saliva, which can lower plaque acid, strengthen teeth and reduce tooth decay.2

Humana offers dental plans

If you’re looking for dental insurance, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with affordable monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana dental insurance page.

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  1. “Effect of chewing an apple on dental plaque removal and on salivary bacterial viability,” The National Center for Biotechnology Information, last accessed September 27, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6051571/.
  2. “Chewing Gum,” The American Dental Association, last accessed September 27, 2021, https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/chewing-gum.