Food that improves tooth and mouth conditions

October 9, 2015

Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, cavities or bad breath. It makes for an unpleasant trip to the dentist, but there are ways of helping your teeth and mouth through diet.

Food that improves tooth and mouth conditions

How food may help

  • Limit sugar intake -- A high consumption of sweet, sticky ("cariogenic") foods — such as juice, soft drinks and candy — increases risk for dental decay. Minimize the amount of time that teeth are exposed to sugary and sticky foods and drinks.
  • Eat anticariogenic foods -- Nuts, cheese, popcorn, tea and fibrous vegetables like celery are believed to inhibit plaque formation (thus protecting against cavities and gum disease).
  • Green tea -- research suggests that its powerful catechin may prevent a major culprit in tooth decay from sticking to tooth enamel and initiating cavities.
  • Shiitake mushrooms - Some evidence suggests a carbohydrate-like component in shiitake mushrooms may reduce plaque formation, though research is very preliminary.
  • Sugar-free gum -- Chewing sugar-free gum may prevent cavities by inhibiting growth of decay-causing bacteria and reduce the amount of plaque.
  • Calcium -- It is the cornerstone of solid, sturdy teeth and may protect against gum disease. Research has found that adults, particularly between the ages of 20 and 40, with the lowest calcium intakes (below 500 milligrams daily) have twice the risk for gum disease. Scientists believe calcium may improve resistance against infection by strengthening the jawbone and maintaining tooth structure.
  • Foods high in insoluble fibre may help by removing food particles from between teeth and in gum pockets.
  • Crunchy, fibrous foods, such as carrot sticks, may cleanse teeth, as well as stimulate gum tissue.
  • Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums and may enhance the healing of cuts and sores in the mouth.

Staying away from the sticky, sugary snacks and choosing foods like almonds, broccoli, green tea, berries, and citrus fruits will help keep your teeth looking their best and those dentist's trips a little less stressful.

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