While it’s important to go for regular check ups with your dentist and to use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to keep your teeth in optimum health, there are a number of other natural ways to help keep your teeth strong and fight decay.

1. Steer clear of sugar

Diet plays a huge role in tooth decay and in general tooth health. To keep tooth enamel strong and avoid cavities, make sure you stay away from sugar – both the kind you find in fizzy drinks and snacks – as well as the kind found in fresh and dried fruit and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes. If you have a sweet tooth and can’t resist a sugary snack, then be sure to brush your teeth straight after.

2. Reduce acid levels

Food and drink that is acidic – including coffee, chocolate and even meat – changes the pH level of the mouth, creating an environment in which bacteria can flourish. Replace coffee with green tea, which contains catechins, a substance proven to kill oral bacteria.

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3. Increase minerals

The body needs calcium, magnesium and phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is found in milk, cheese and other dairy products, as well as almonds and sesame seeds, while magnesium and phosphorus are plentiful in green, leafy vegetables like spinach, as well as in pumpkin seeds, squash and brown rice.

4. Give yourself a vitamin boost

Vitamins A, C, D and K are all essential for healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin A is found in cod liver oil and like Vitamin K, is also abundant in leafy greens and vegetables including cauliflower. Oily fish, like salmon and mackerel, is rich in Vitamin D which helps re-mineralise teeth, while citrus fruit and red and green peppers are packed with Vitamin C.

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5. Eating solids

The action of chewing helps the body maintain cell density. Chewing on a stick of celery, a hunk of bread or even a steak, will encourage the body to renew cells, thereby making teeth stronger and gums healthier.

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6. Eat crunchy vegetables

Did you know that crunching on carrots or munching on apples is a perfect way to keep your teeth clean and strong? Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which breaks down the sugar in food, producing an acid that attacks the surface enamel of teeth. While brushing twice a day helps get rid of the layers of plaque that build up on the teeth and gums, eating certain foods will also help remove plaque in between brushing. Raw carrots, broccoli and cucumber are all great natural toothbrushes.

7. Drink lots of water

Not only does drinking water help wash away leftover food that bacteria can feast on, it also helps the body to produce saliva, the body’s natural form of defence against tooth decay.

8. Brush your teeth

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the number one way to beat tooth decay and ensure strong healthy teeth, but don’t forget how important diet is. An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away, but also the dentist.

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