Most foods in a plant-based diet are beneficial. Take celery and kale. “Celery is very helpful because its fibers have that stringiness to them,” he says. “Chewing it helps to clean the teeth—almost like the bristles of a toothbrush.” As for kale, it’s loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which promote gum health.
Calcium-rich foods are also good for your teeth, but don’t be fooled by the myth that milk is best, according to Frawley. Although it’s true that foods high in calcium prevent decay, milk can have a lot of natural or added sugar in it. Other good sources of calcium include tofu, calcium-fortified soy milk and collard greens, according to the USDA.
Adds Frawley: “We look at food to get us by, but it can really help benefit us and heal the body from a lot of chronic diseases and infections. A lot of medical providers look to drugs to do that, but we have those healing powers right in front of us with the foods we eat.”