We all know that oral care is important, and goes beyond brushing and flossing. These foods aren’t just good for your mouth: they have other benefits as well. A lot of you are already eating many of these foods – well done! Read on to see how many of them you can tick off. ( I promise you’ll get at least one. )
The following six items can help maintain a beautiful smile when combined with a great daily oral health care routine (toothpaste and floss we are talking here!)
1. Green Tea
Let’s take a trip to Japan where the consumption of this many-splendoured drink is consumed on average 3 times a day!
Green tea contains complex compounds called “catechins” that can (apparently) fight inflammation and actually control bacterial infections. One Japanese study found that “men who drink green tea regularly have less occurrence of periodontal disease, as compared to infrequent tree drinkers”. Also another Japanese study showed that for both men and women, drinking a minimum of 1 cup of tea per day was correlated with less tooth loss later in life. It is thought that the antimicrobial “catechins” may in fact account for the oral health benefits associated with green tea, but as of now further study is needed. The other health benefits of green tea are well known though, and since it stains our teeth less than black tea or coffee, maybe switch it up!
2. Shiitake and Red Reishi Mushrooms
These 2 varieties of mushrooms contain lentinan, a natural phytochemical that may help in preventing gingivitis. Gingivitis, characterized by inflammation, redness, swelling (and possibly even bleeding) of the gums, is generally caused by a build up of bacteria. Studies as of late demonstrate that antibacterial compounds (like lentinan) target these microbes specifically and kill certain cavity-causing bacteria, leaving the good bacteria as it is.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, and they pack in powerful teeth-healthy micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and most importantly, calcium! Calcium is of course essential for strong bones and teeth, and dietary calcium may actually contribute to tooth remineralization. (We carry a product you may be familiar with called Tooth Mousse which is made with the milk protein Casein). Brazil nuts, almonds and even sesame seeds all contain high levels of calcium and the other micronutrients required for healthy teeth!
4. Garlic, Onions & Shallots
Part of the alium group, onions and garlic have sulfur-containing compounds that have powerful bacteria-beating abilities . They are antimicrobial and definitely strongest in their
5. Strawberries and Kiwis
Vitamin C is very important for the overall health of delicate gum tissue, because the vitamin C helps to prevent collagen from breaking down. Without collagen, gums become extra tender, and thus susceptible to periodontal disease. Kiwis and strawberries have the highest concentration of vitamin C. These fruits also do double duty because of their astringency, which may help to reverse discoloration caused by commonly consumed beverages like coffee and wine. What about citrus fruits? The truth is that although high in Vitamin C they are also acidic; this can erode tooth enamel. Eating an array of these fruits is likely best; and then you won’t get sick of strawberries!
6. Apples, Celery, and other Low-Acid, Fibrous Foods
These water-rich foods act by stimulating saliva production, which is good because it keeps oral bacteria in check ( bacteria = cavities). Also, because you have to chew these foods so much they can sometimes dislodge newly formed dental plaque and maybe even prevent it.
None of these foods have any processed sugar and are low acidity so they don’t damage precious tooth enamel. In general these foods are great to eat because they are good for overall health, good for oral health and they taste pretty good. Snack away!
**Information adapted from Greenliving Superfoods.