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.
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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 »