Ever heard of detergent foods? Well, it’s a term in dentistry that refers to certain foods that help you clean your teeth while you’re eating. They’re best eaten last in your meal in order to clean your mouth of the particles that have accumulated early in the meal. It’s not quite brushing your teeth, but it’s better than not!
Funny enough, the foods we compiled that fit in this category aren’t only good for your dental health but your overall health as well. Give them a look.
Carrots are loaded with fiber and clean teeth by rubbing up against your teeth (and any plaque built up) as you eat. Carrots can also stimulate saliva production, which we all know naturally cleans our teeth. As if these things weren’t enough, carrots also contain various B vitamins, which fight gingivitis.
Similar to carrots, eating apples can help cleanse teeth even fight bad breath. Apples also have lots of fiber which help to clean your teeth by acting as a toothbrush. The acidity in an apple also kills off bad bacteria that may end up leading to bad breath. And don’t even think about removing the skin from your apples; they’re the ones full of fiber that does all this wonderful cleaning!
Leafy greens like lettuce, kale, and spinach are low in calories and high in fiber, making them awesome vegetables for your teeth and health in general. Like apples and carrots, the fiber content in leafy greens helps by, you guessed it, scrubbing away food debris and plaque while you eat them. But, did you know that kale also contains calcium and B vitamins? Calcium strengthens teeth, and B vitamins help treat and prevent gingivitis. If you want to up the nutrients in your salad or sandwich, try adding some shredded kale or spinach instead of lettuce.
Cheese doesn’t really clean your teeth as you eat, but it does prevent other foods from hurting your teeth as you eat them, so we thought we should mention it here. Cheese is high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth. However, the benefits of cheese don’t end there. Cheese also contains a protein called casein which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. It also helps prevent acid from destroying tooth enamel.
As you can see, detergent foods are usually foods that are crisp and firm. They act like scrubbers on and around your teeth and gums and bring your mouth’s pH level back to 7.0 (neutral), which is optimal.