What we eat can have a major impact on our oral health. While we all know that sugar and soda aren’t great for our mouths, there are a number of surprising foods that can keep your mouth and gums healthy. Keep reading to find out the best foods to incorporate into your meals in order to improve your oral health!
Eating sugary foods without brushing after is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. If you still crave something sweet – but want to keep your mouth healthy – look for products containing xylitol. 4ever Mints contain xylitol, which has been proven to help fight bad bacteria in the mouth in between brushing. In addition, they are the longest lasting breath mint on the market; with three core flavors and three 4ever Mint+ add ons, you can have fresh breath for longer than you ever thought possible.
2. Crunchy fruits and vegetables
The American Dental Association recommends that at least half your plate be taken up with fruits and vegetables. Apples, celery, carrots, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables are good for our bodies – and for our mouths. Munching on these foods as a snack or with meals can help dislodge plaque from the teeth while generating saliva; an increase in saliva can also help wash away bad bacteria from the gum line.
3. Leafy greens
Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are chock full of health boosting vitamins and minerals. A study in Nutrients found a high positive correlation between adults who eat green leafy vegetables and improved oral health. Greens are high in calcium, which helps build tooth enamel; greens are also high in Vitamin C, which reduces inflammation and boosts red blood cell production. Not a fan of kale salads? Try adding a handful of leafy greens to smoothies, as a topping for sandwiches, or cooked as a side dish.
4. Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an antibacterial compound that can help eliminate bad bacteria in the mouth. A study published in Pharmacognosy Review found that eating them can help lentinan get to hard to reach places, such as in between teeth or in the back of the mouth. Add shiitake mushrooms as a topping to salads and pizza, or sauté and serve with a main course.
Onions may be a common cause of bad breath, but this vegetable is a fantastic food for your gums. The microbial properties of onion help neutralize the bad bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities and gum disease; try incorporating raw onion into meals in salads or on sandwiches, or cook it in chili, soup, or stew.