5 Foods for Healthy Teeth & Gums
Routine brushing, flossing and rinsing keep your mouth in good health. And while you need these powerful weapons in your bacteria-fighting arsenal, you could always use reinforcement. Beyond limiting the sugary sweets and harsh acidic foods in your diet, there are foods that are good for your gums.
A Better Way to Add Flavor
Ginger root is considered a healing herb. With its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger promotes healthy tissue in your mouth.
Keep More Than the Doctor Away
Eating an apple can take a while. And that’s a good thing for your mouth. The munching action spurs a cleansing action that shakes up the plaque that clings to gums and teeth. Stock up on apples, but be sure to rinse with mouthwash afterward. Even healthy foods like apples can expose your mouth to acids.
Got Milk in Your Diet?
Milk, and other dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt are not only packed with bone-fortifying calcium, but also with the protein casein, which research suggests reduces acid levels in the mouth. In addition, drinking milk can neutralize acids produced by plaque bacteria. Note: Drinking milk with cereal or dessert doesn't have the same benefit as direct consumption after eating. No milk around? Eat a piece of cheese instead.
Load Up on Leafy Greens
It’s no secret that salad greens pack an all-around healthy punch, but they’re also especially successful at keeping mouths clean because they’re fiber-packed, meaning they require serious chewing to break down. The extra saliva produced by chewing neutralizes mouth bacteria. High-fiber, stringy foods like raw spinach, celery and even cooked beans offer this benefit.
Zap Bacteria, Layer by Layer
The raw onion is a potent bacteria-fighting food. Yes, bad breath is the enemy. But that's why sugarless gum and mouthwash were created. Onions have an antimicrobial ingredient that kills bacteria, and, according to one study, completely wipes out four bacteria strains that lead to gum disease and cavities. Sliver them and toss the strips in your salad, on your sandwich and burger or in soups and stews.