Let’s be honest—not everyone has the time to brush their teeth or floss after each and every meal, so food tends to sit around in your mouth for a while. Luckily, there’s a great solution that tastes great—food! Foods you eat every day can help with your oral health, and if you don’t eat these every day they’re easy to incorporate into your diet.
Onions do an amazing job of neutralizing oral bacteria. They have special microbial properties that target the most common kinds of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities—and they’re an easy thing to add to the foods you already eat! Toss a few onions on top of your salad or hamburger, throw them into soups and chilies, etc. and you’re already helping your mouth. Just be sure to carry a stick of gum with you!
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are full of mouth-healthy vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C that can boost your production of red blood cells. This reduces inflammation all around your body. Not to mention these foods require a lot of chewing, which increases your saliva production! Saliva is super important for flushing food particles, harmful bacteria, and plaque out of your mouth.
Green tea is very rich in antioxidants which, like vitamin C, reduces inflammation. Reducing inflammation is so important, because inflammation in your gums is typically caused by bacteria that can cause gum disease. This is a great beverage to drink in the morning or at night when it’s time to relax!
Peppers and Citrus Fruits
Oranges, kiwis, pineapple, strawberries, peppers, etc. are great for something we’ve already talked about—vitamin C! You really can’t get enough, so add some of these fruits to a salad, smoothie, or your morning oatmeal.
A little less conventional, shiitake mushrooms are great for fighting plaque. They’re rich in lentinan, which is an antibacterial compound that can get rid of the bacteria that cause plaque. These bacteria breed in very hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, and can cause irritation, gingivitis, or even gum disease. You can saute these and have them as a side, mix them into stir fry, of chop them up raw and add them to a salad.
Celery, Carrots, and Apples
These foods are great for your mouth because of their physical properties—while they’re great for you in general, the crunchiness is what’s great for healthy teeth and gums. They can naturally scrape away food and plaque that may be stuck around your teeth. They’re high in fiber like leafy greens, so they’ll stimulate saliva production as well. While they may not fill you up much, they all make great snacks between meals and work wonders when complemented by good brushing and flossing!
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
Eating foods high in calcium will strengthen all of your teeth and oral bones. They’re also rich in a protein called casein, which neutralize oral acids that are produced by bacteria in your mouth. These acids can be very destructive to your tooth enamel and sensitive gum tissue. This protein is found in most dairy products, so no need to limit yourself to these three!
For more expert dental advice, or to book that checkup you’ve been putting off, contact LeCroy Dental today!