5 easy dental tricks to help you enjoy the foods you love (yes, even wine)

woman smiling holding a wine glass filled with red wine

Most dental care tips are solely focused on how to brush and floss properly. However, one of the best things you can do for your teeth and mouth is to adopt a healthy diet. There are a number of nutritious foods that bolster and build your tooth enamel. There are also many edible options that will cover your teeth in a tacky, sugary coating that fosters the rapid breakdown of tooth enamel and supports a profusion of harmful bacteria. Here are several dental tips that will help you eat more of the foods you love without sacrificing your oral health in the process.

Snack on fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is not just good for your body, it can also do wonders for your teeth. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that nourish, build and protect the teeth. Crunchy options like celery, apples and carrots are among a very select group of foods that leave tooth surfaces in better shape than before.

Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates

Refined white flours and other simple carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in the mouth, creating the perfect acidic environment for bacteria to thrive. Avoid eating packaged, processed goods and instead opt for foods that are offered or served closest to their natural state. These are far less likely to break down to sugars that adhere to the teeth. Select brown rice over white rice and replace snacks like potato chips and crackers with nuts, seeds and fresh produce when you can.

Brush in-between meals

You can undo the damage caused by a sugary, flour-filled meal by brushing your teeth immediately after you’ve finished eating. If you don’t have toothpaste and a toothbrush handy, try rinsing your mouth with warm water or a warm saltwater solution instead. Every effort you make to break up food debris and the coating it leaves behind will minimize the amount of harmful bacteria living in your mouth.

Add baking soda to your oral care routine

Baking soda is a common addition to the average, at-home tooth-whitening plan. It’s inexpensive, non-toxic, good for both the teeth and the gums, and easy to use. Best of all, baking soda can instantly restore the mouth’s natural pH level. Look for toothpastes that have baking soda listed among their active ingredients or sprinkle a small bit of this powder on a moist toothbrush as part of your nightly brushing routine. This will gradually lift stubborn tooth stains away, limit bacterial activity in your mouth while you sleep and keep morning breath at bay.

Start oil pulling

You might be surprised to discover that most tooth stains don’t directly affect your actual tooth surfaces. Instead, these spots are merely areas of plaque that have become discolored. One of the best dental care tips currently in circulation is oil pulling, especially if you love red wine, coffee and other dark-colored foods and beverages. With oil pulling, you simply swirl a small amount of coconut oil or sesame oil around the mouth for approximately 20 minutes. This oil will draw out toxins, fight bacteria and eliminate plaque buildup that leads to a discolored appearance. When you’re done, spit the oil out and brush your teeth with baking soda for a bright, white look and a clean feel.