16 foods for a healthier smile
By Ryan Maclean
Good dental hygiene involves more than just brushing, flossing and the use of mouthwash.
Whatever you put in your mouth can have an effect on the health of your teeth and gums. We list the best foods that can help you on your way to a whiter, brighter and healthier smile
An apple a day will not only just keep the doctor away, but the dentist too!
Chewing on a crisp apple forces you to chew for longer. This helps brush away more bacteria from your teeth and help you produce more saliva, which on top of the water within the apple help wash away the bad microbes in your mouth.
Green tea is not only a great addition to a weight loss diet but it can also help you with your smile.
Catechins, which are contained in the leaves, are compounds that are able to combat the plaque and cavity causing bacteria that live on your teeth.
The catechins fight the bacteria in three ways:
- making it harder for the bacteria to stick to teeth
- making it harder for them to produce plaque
- having a toxic effect on the bacteria themselves
Carrots and other hard fibrous foods make your mouth and jaw work hard to cut through and crunch them down.
This process helps massage your gums as you chew making them slightly red as blood fills the tissues. Making sure your gums get enough nutrients provided by your blood is important in making them look more healthy.
These little snacks contain a healthy supply of important minerals such as magnesium, phosphate and calcium. These are essential for teeth growth and maintenance and should be an important factor in your diet for a healthy mouth.
These are the only mushrooms which contain an important sugar called lentinan. This sugar has a direct affect on the bacteria that live on your teeth and in your mouth and can inhibit them from producing plaque.
Plaque is the slimy film which you can feel on your teeth, this can mature into tartar and lead to gum problems such as gingivitis.
This popular condiment usually found on hotdogs is a natural antibacterial. Containing isothiocyanates, this important compound has the ability to actually stop the bacteria in your mouth from multiplying.
Mustard oil also has the properties of a stain remover, lightly rubbed on the teeth it can help remove stains from smoking and coffee drinking.
The natural compounds found in onions have an antibacterial action. These have a toxic effect on the bacteria which live in your mouth and on your teeth. The less bacteria you have on your teeth the less likely you are to suffer from cavities as they erode your teeth.
Unfortunately, these compounds are most effective when the onion is raw, so perhaps have some gum to hand after eating some.
This natural breath freshener is a common flavoring to most oral hygiene products. Its unrivaled popularity is not only due to its clean and freshening flavor and scent, but the plant itself also has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps protect your gums when you brush and eat.
The fresh breath you get is due to vinyl compounds which can get deep into the lungs and maintain the freshness as you breathe.
The mechanism of drinking and swallowing causes turbulence in the mouth, making your mouth like a small washing machine which washes away food particles and cleanses your mouth. The amount of food you have on your teeth has a direct effect on the activity of the bacteria and the acid they produce. Less food means less acid.
In addition, drinking and swallowing makes you produce more saliva which helps neutralize any acids that remain on your teeth
This important dairy option keeps your mouth and teeth healthy in a whole manner of ways. It is low in carbohydrate which is a foodstuff favored by the bad bacteria in your mouth.
The alkali pH of cheese has a neutralizing effect, similar to your saliva, which helps fight the cavity causing acid produced by bacteria.
This tropical fruit contains many vitamins and minerals, however one of the most important is vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for the healthy growth and maintenance of hair and teeth.
This fruit and its compounds help you keep the enamel on your teeth making sure your smile remains white.
This little furry fruit contains an excellent source of vitamin C. This particular vitamin is important for collagen and so makes sure your gums are healthy help support a strong foundation for your teeth.
A lack of this vitamin can lead to gum disease such as gingivitis which can cause tooth loss.
These feathered friends and other lean meats contain important minerals such as calcium and phosphate.
These nutrients help repair and maintain the enamel on your teeth. Your enamel can suffer especially if there is too much bacteria in your mouth eating away at this important layer of your teeth.
The tough fibers of this vegetable act as a natural toothbrush. Food particles are literally rubbed off the teeth as you chew your way through the stems.
The less bacteria on your teeth, ultimately means less acid being made which causes cavities in your teeth.
In addition, chewing also releases more saliva which helps neutralize any excess acid in your mouth.
Seeds such as sesame act as a natural exfoliator for the inside of your mouth.
Whilst eating them they move around your mouth and teeth scraping away any excess food particles and plaque from your teeth. Sesame seeds are also high in calcium which helps build and maintain your teeth.
This herb is usually just used as a garnish, but it can be so much more.
This plant, like mint, has a freshening property caused by the fact that it contains compounds such as monoterpenes. These help counteract any strong smelling foods you may have eaten and is a great way to finish a meal to make sure your breath stays fresh.
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*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.