10 Foods for a Healthy Mouth
1) Eat cheese for your oral health! Compared to milk, yogurt and parrafin, cheese helped raise oral pH levels - to make it less acidic (and therefore, less harmful to your teeth)! Read the article here:
Some experts recommend that if you have any acidic foods (e.g. salad dressing), then take it with a bit of cheese so it reduces the harmful effects.
It's also got calcium to support the structure of your teeth! Last, but not least, dairy contains the nutrient phosphorus, which benefits the skin, your hair, your bones and you guessed it - teeth.
2) Raw Cucumber! Cucumber and other high-water-content-veggies are a great way to boost your oral health. Dehydration is often a contributing factor in bad breath cases - and having cucumber (which is said to be about 96% water) can help to counteract that. A dry mouth can also lead to more cavities because there is less saliva to "wash away" random food particles. So have your cucumbers because let's be honest - on a day to day basis, doesn't it seem almost impossible to grab those 8 glasses of water every single day? If we take in foods that are high in water, it'll definitely help.
3) Fatty fish, like salmon, is always a great idea. Long story short, the good fats in fish helps your body absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body take in calcium and phosphorus. As mentioned earlier, they're both an important key to strong teeth. But did you know that people who get less calcium are also more susceptible to gum disease? Read all about it here.
4) Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which prevents scurvy - a condition that results in gum disease and tooth loss - along with other symptoms (like having a special stench). As the story goes, sailors on long voyages would succumb to scurvy back in the day until they discovered that citrus fruit could ward off the disease - in which case, they loaded up on lemons and limes. Since oranges are a bit sweeter and have adequate vitamin C levels, we'd thought you'd appreciate that recommendation more than lemon and limes! Please note, you may want to rinse your mouth out with water after having citrus, so the acids aren't sitting on your teeth until your next drink.
5) Bell Pepper is even higher in vitamin C than oranges - and it doesn't have all the sugars and the acidic nature of citrus. A quick googling of the info: 100g of oranges has about 45-60 mg of vitamin C. The same weight of red bell pepper has about 190 mg!
6) And that's a great segue to the next food on our list: W.A.T.E.R. Water really is the best thing for your teeth - it keeps you hydrated (remember it helps to prevent bad breath and reduce the occurrence of cavities!), but it also works to 'rinse' food particles and residue from your snacks and meals. That means food won't sit on your teeth and get gobbled up by bacteria - who, by the way, end up pooping acids onto your teeth and creating cavities.
7) Leafy green vegetables. These are loaded with calcium, vitamin C and other dental-happy nutrients. They also require tonnes of chewing - more chewing = more 'scrubbing' action on your teeth. The chewing also means more saliva is excreted and leaves your mouth less dry.
8) Green tea is loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the gums. One other really neat thing about green tea is that it contain tannins. Tannins help increase the acid-resistance of your teeth - especially when it's used in conjunction to fluoride, so it makes your teeth less susceptible to acid damage caused by sour/tangy foods. You can read the research summary here.
9) Fermented foods are a great way to get healthy bacteria into your system. Some examples include: miso, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, etc. Studies show that good bacteria may reduce the number of bad bacteria in your mouth (and therefore leading to fewer cavities), may reduce bleeding gums and inflammation in gum disease patients and may help curb bad breath. Here's a review of the scientific literature.
10) Legumes like beans or lentils. Because they are naturally coated with phytic acid - which can inhibit the absorption of nutrients like calcium, soak them overnight, then rinse with fresh water when ready to use. These types of pulses contain B vitamins - where deficiency can lead to a cracked mouth at the corners. Ouch! That is painful if you've ever experienced it!