When you think about the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you’re probably thinking about brushing, flossing, and other not-so-exciting habits to keep in your everyday routine. But think about one thing you do every day that you actually enjoy: eating! Yes, you can use your diet to improve your oral health, choosing foods you love to keep your mouth healthy. Here’s how:

Include more dairy Dairy has gotten a bad rap from a variety of places, but it’s a good choice for your oral health. This is because the sugars in milk don’t contribute to tooth decay the way that other sugars do. And dairy products can reduce acid in the mouth, which otherwise can cause corrosion in places you really don’t want it!

Crunch on veggies Veggies and fruits are already part of a balanced and healthy diet for your body. But including crunchy raw fruits and veggies like apples, carrots and celery can keep your mouth healthy. This is because the extra saliva caused by all that chewing helps to refresh and cleanse out your mouth from potentially harmful bacteria.

Eat sesame seeds These are a great choice that you can find plenty of creative ways to include in your diet, from sprinkling them on your oatmeal or smoothies to including them on salads and stir fries. Sesame seeds are high in calcium which helps to preserve the teeth, and they can also help to slough off the plaque that leads to cavities, making your dentist very proud!

Stay hydrated The number one thing you can do to improve your health all-around is to drink more water. It helps your body to flush itself out of toxins, and it definitely helps your mouth to stay clear from bacteria. Rinse out your mouth after eating, and just make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Your mouth will be able to handle the rest on its own!

Stay away from sticky sugar The number one nemesis of your oral health is sticky sweets, so stay away! You may dream of indulging in that caramel apple, but it’s going to be a nightmare for your teeth, as all that sticky sugar will get lodged right in between where you can’t reach. Replace sticky sweets with natural fruits instead.