Top 10 Foods For A Healthy Mouth

by in Healthy Tips, March 22, 2011
Yogurt
One more reason to enjoy yogurt: It's good for your teeth, along with these 9 other foods.

We’ve been taught to brush twice a day and floss, but eating the right foods also contributes to clean and shiny teeth and gums.  Keep your mouth happy by chomping on these 10 foods.

#1 Yogurt
Yogurt gives your mouth a triple bang for the buck. Studies have shown that yogurt reduces hydrogen sulfide, the chemical associated with bad breath. It also helps reduce plaque and gingivitis.

#2 Raisins
In the past, sticky foods like raisins were a no-no for healthy teeth. However, recent research tells us that the antioxidants found in raisins help reduce the growth of a certain bacteria that may cause inflammation and gum disease.

#3 Apples
Crunchy fruit like apples, celery and carrots help increase saliva, which help protect against cavities by rinsing out the mouth.

#4  Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants known as catechins that help lower the risk of the development of gum disease. A recent Japanese study showed that men who drank a cup of green tea every day lowered their risk of gum disease — the more tea consumed, the lower the risk.

#5 Whole Grains
A study in the American Journal in Clinical Nutrition found a 23 percent reduction in periodontal disease (gingivitis) among men who ate at least 4 servings of whole grains per day.

#6 Cinnamon
This spice contains a natural plant oil known as cinnamic aldehyde shown to destroy bacteria.

#7 Sugarless Gum
Chewing on sugar-free gum that contains the sugar alcohol xylitol helps reduce tooth decay and gum disease. It can also help (temporarily) mask odors of bad breath.

#8 Citrus Fruit
Fruits and veggies high in vitamin C (like berries, melons and peppers) help create an acidic environment that discourages bacteria growth in your mouth. Vitamin C also helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease — both responsible for smelly breath.

#9 Cranberries
These tart berries help reduce plaque-promoting bacteria, so they don’t start a party in your mouth. Cherries have been shown to have the same effect.

#10 Mint
We’re talking peppermint — it helps kill bacteria in the mouth that leads to stinky breath while giving you that fresh and tingly feeling in your mouth.

TELL US: How do you get your daily dose of green?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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