Best foods for healthy teeth

Did you know that there’s a lot more you can do beyond brushing and flossing in order to keep your pearly whites ‘a shining’? Eating the right foods can go a long way towards keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Here’s a look at some of the best foods to keep your gums healthy, your teeth strong and your smile bright.

Green tea

Green tea contains complex compounds called ‘catechins’, which fight inflammation and actually control bacterial infections. One Japanese study found that people who drink green tea regularly have healthier teeth and gums than infrequent tea drinkers. And another showed that drinking one or more cups of green tea per day meant less tooth loss in later life.

Strawberries and kiwis

Vitamin C is important because it helps to prevent collagen from breaking down. Without it, gums become more prone to periodontal disease. Whilst citrus fruits are good for vitamin C, it’s kiwis and strawberries that have the highest concentration. These fruits are also quite astringent, which means they’re good for reversing the discolouration caused by consuming things such as coffee or red wine.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds contain micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They are also comprised of calcium, which – as we are told from childhood – is essential for strong bones and teeth. Almonds and Brazil nuts, as well as unhulled sesame seeds, are potent sources of calcium. 

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitakes contain lentinan, a natural sugar that may help to prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and can be distinguished by redness or bleeding. It is often caused by a build-up of bacterial biofilm. Antibacterial compounds, such as lentinan, can specifically target these biofilm-making microbes so effectively and precisely, that they kill the bad bacteria while leaving non-harmful bacteria unaffected. 

Apples, celery and other low-acid, fibrous foods

These water-rich fruits and veggies stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to maintain good levels of bacteria in your mouth. Munching on these high-fibre foods also helps to clean your teeth, brushing oral bacteria and newly formed dental plaque away whilst you eat. 

Chewing gum

Okay, technically gum is not a food, but chewing sugarless gum can be helpful for keeping your teeth clean by dislodging uneaten food and increasing saliva flow to neutralise the acids in your mouth. Some gums contain tooth-whitening ingredients, some even claim to have cavity-reducing properties that can heal areas on the teeth where cavities are forming. 

Do you know of any foods that are good for healthy teeth? Why not tell us?

Read more about this at www.Care2.com.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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