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Top Ten Foods for a Healthy Mouth and Teeth

We spend a lot of time telling you what NOT to eat to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, with sugary foods and drinks being the main culprits that you need to avoid; however in this post we are going to tell you about some everyday foods that together with a good brushing and flossing routine will help to keep your mouth and teeth in tip top condition.

image of a healthy mouth eating celery

By incorporating all or some of these foods into your everyday diet you can easily improve your oral health and cut the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

  1. Water
    Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things that you can do to protect your teeth and gums.  Water will quench your thirst like nothing else, helping to avoid cravings for sugary drinks and fruit juices.  Drinking water after a meal or snack and constantly through out the day will rinse away food debris and bacteria as well as keeping your mouth hydrated.  A dry mouth and gums are an ideal breeding ground for cavity and bad breath causing bacteria.  A drink of water on waking up will hydrate your mouth and rinse away some of the bacteria that have built up in your mouth overnight.
  2. Cheese
    Cheese is high in calcium, which is stored in teeth and bones and gives structure and strength.  If we don’t get enough calcium in our diet then it will leach out of the teeth and bones causing them to become fragile.  Cheese helps to balance the PH in the mouth eliminating harmful bacteria that can damage the tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  Try and get into the habit of finishing your meal with a small cube of cheese.
  3. Celery
    Crunchy vegetables like celery (and carrots) are mostly made up of water and eaten raw require a lot of chewing.  The act of chewing produces saliva which neutralises bacteria in the mouth.  Celery is also naturally abrasive and will massage your gums and clean between your teeth.
  4. Green Tea
    Drinking green tea has long been promoted as good for all aspects of your health and this includes your oral health.  Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants, that can eliminate bacteria in the mouth and neutralise saliva helping to prevent cavities and keep breath smelling fresh.  The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can help control periodontal (gum) disease.  A Japanese survey of almost 1,000 men found that those who drank green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who didn’t.
  5. Kiwi Fruit
    Kiwi fruit is extremely high in vitamin C which helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen in the gums.  Plenty of vitamin C in your diet will keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease.  Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of calcium which is needed for strong teeth and bones.
  6. Yoghurt
    As well as containing calcium to support strong teeth and bones, yoghurt helps to reduce the bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
  7. Almonds
    Almonds are high in calcium and protein and low in sugar making them a really good snacking option.
  8. Salmon
    Salmon is high in vitamin D which aids the absorption of calcium and so contributes to healthy teeth and bones, protecting against cavities and gum disease.
  9. Dark chocolate
    This one is our favourite!  Cocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, each of which are a type of antioxidant.  Tannins inhibit bacteria from sticking to your teeth, polyphenols work to neutralise the bacteria that can cause bad breath and infection and flavonoids can help to slow down tooth decay.  Remember though that you should only eat chocolate in moderation as it does contain sugar and avoid milk chocolate as it has a much lower cocoa content and much higher sugar content.
  10. Onions
    Traditionally onions are associated with bad breath, but they actually have strong antibacterial properties that are great for your oral health.  They are best eaten raw and fresh.  If you are worried about ‘onion breath’ try chewing a piece of sugar free gum after eating.

Chewing gum, whilst not technically a food, could be included in this list as chewing sugar free gum will help your mouth to produce saliva thus neutralising harmful bacteria.

By incorporating all or some of these foods into your everyday diet you can easily improve your oral health and cut the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

As always we advise that the best way to take care of your teeth is by avoiding sugary foods and drink, brushing for your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your dentist regularly.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and would like more tips and advice on keeping your family’s mouth healthy and everyone smiling please follow Smile Concepts on Facebook and Twitter.

For an appointment please contact Smile Concepts reception team on 0121 705 2705.