- Crispy, low-acid fruits and vegetables: Fruits like apples and vegetables such as carrots and celery act like "natural toothbrushes," helping to clear plaque from your teeth and freshen your breath.
- Kiwis: These little green superstars are packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for gum health. The collagen in your gums is strengthened when you consume foods that are high in Vitamin C, like kiwis, thus helping to prevent periodontal problems.
- Raw onions: Onions have long been studied for their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Proliferation of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and cavities. By including raw onions in your diet, you will be doing your part to wipe out those little microbes before they can multiply!
- Shiitake Mushrooms: A specific compound in shiitake mushrooms called lentinan has been shown to have antibacterial properties that target the microbes that cause cavities while leaving other beneficial bacteria alone. It may also help to prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
- Green Tea: Often praised for its antioxidant content and many health benefits, it turns out that green tea also benefits your oral health! A Japanese study found that men who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower occurrence of periodontal disease compared to men who drank green tea infrequently. It is believed that this is due to catechins in green tea, a type of flavonoid that may protect you from free radical damage, but more research is needed. Either way, drink up for your overall health, as well as your teeth!