Want to keep your teeth pearly white and your breath minty fresh? Before you reach for your brush and toothpaste, grab a celery stick instead. Chewing raw veggies, fruit, and herbs can help dislodge particles while providing vitamins and minerals for strong gums.

Here’s the break down:

  • Stain resisters: Fill up on strawberries, which contain malic acid that fights plaque and whitens teeth. Cheese helps create a protective wall on tooth enamel to prevent stains.
  • Odor busters: Eat celery, carrots and apples to wash away bacteria-causing odor. Herbs like parsley and mint may also freshen breath.
  • Nutrient boosters: Nuts (especially almonds and walnuts) are high in calcium, magnesium and phosphate—important essential nutrients for strong, healthy teeth. The human body stores 99 percent of its calcium deposits in bones and teeth.
  • Liquid delights: Drinking water helps wash away debris and decaying food particles and dilutes your mouth’s acid buildup. Green tea contains catechins that may help flush out bacteria. Milk, yogurt shakes, and fruit smoothies—which are high in calcium and vitamins—help teeth grow while strengthening the gums and jawbone.