Everyone is always talking about munching on healthy foods to help with weight loss, but what about good choices for your teeth? What foods do your teeth appreciate you eating to help them be stronger and healthier? Here are a few suggestions of food to grab for your workday snack as you head out the door.

Apples, Carrots, and Celery

We’ve all heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apparently, that holds true for the dentist as well. Apples aren’t quite the same as your toothbrush, but they serve some of the same functions.

The munching of the apple plus the saliva it causes you to produce helps to clean up your teeth and wash out your mouth. Finishing your meal with an apple or bringing it along as a snack will help keep your teeth feeling fresh and ready to smile. Carrots and celery work much the same as the apple with brushing away bits of leftover meal.

Cheese

Who would have thought that cheese is good for your teeth? We all know that dairy products are important for bone health, but it is actually imperative for oral health.

A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, showed that eating cheese, and other dairy products, might help with reducing the risk of cavities. It seems that cheese helps to increase the dental plaque pH level in your mouth. The higher the pH level above 5.5 the lower the risk of getting cavities.

Seung-Hee Rhee, an Academy of General Dentistry spokesman, said, “Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.”

Leafy Greens

I’m sure you could have guessed that leafy greens would be on this list. The leaves are packed full of vitamins and minerals that support oral health. Many leafy vegetables are full of calcium, which helps increase the enamel on your teeth. The also have folic acid, a B vitamin that has many health benefits. If you need another reason to munch on a salad, do it for your teeth.

As you reach for your next snack, pause and ask yourself, “Will my teeth thank me for this?” It isn’t hard to redirect your attention to something that your oral health will be grateful for later.