START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

6 Superpower Foods For Healthy Teeth & Gums

  • a Care2 favorite by Sayward Rebhal
6 Superpower Foods For Healthy Teeth & Gums

We all know that oral care is important, and holistic oral care goes way beyond brushing and flossing. With alternative therapies such as oil pulling, and homemade solutions such as herbal mouthwash, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your smile stays beautiful and bright. But don’t overlook the powerful purification properties of simple, everyday foods. The following six are supercharged oral crime fighters, certain to keep your gums safe and pearly whites pretty.

1. Green Tea

Green tea contains complex compounds called “catechins” that can fight inflammation and actually control bacterial infections. It’s true! For example, one Japanese study found that men who drink green tea regularly have less occurrence of periodontal disease, as compared to infrequent tree drinkers. And another Japanese study showed that for both men and women, drinking one or more cups of tea per day was correlated with less tooth loss later in life. The antimicrobial “catechins” may in fact account for the oral health benefits associated with green tea, but as of now further study is needed. What we do know for sure, however, is that green tea consumption is good for oral health, period.

2. Strawberries and Kiwis (and to a lesser extent, Citrus Fruits)

Vitamin C is very important for the overall health of delicate gum tissue, because the vitamin C helps to prevent collagen from breaking down.  Without collagen, gums become extra tender, and thus susceptible to periodontal disease. Kiwis and strawberries have the highest concentration of vitamin C, but citrus fruits also boast good numbers. These fruits also do double duty because of their astringency, which may help to reverse discoloration caused by commonly consumed beverages like coffee and wine.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, and they pack in powerful teeth-healthy micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and most importantly, calcium! Calcium is of course essential for strong bones and teeth, and dietary calcium may actually contribute to tooth remineralization. The nuts highest in calcium are almonds and brazil nuts. Sesame seeds are incredibly high in calcium as well, but make sure you get the unhulled variety.

4. Onions

Onions, especially when eaten raw, boast powerful bacteria-busting prowess thanks to their antimicrobial sulfur-containing compounds. Raw onion slivers can be eaten on sandwiches or in salads. However, if you simply cannot stomach them raw, cooked onion is better than no onion at all.

5. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitakes contain lentinan, a natural sugar that may help to prevent gingivitis. Gingivitis is gum inflammation, characterized by redness, swelling, and possibly even bleeding, often caused by a build-up of bacterial biofilm. Recent studies show that antibacterial compounds like lentinan specifically target these biofilm-making microbes. In fact, they’re so precise that they kill cavity-causing bacteria while leaving the other, non-harmful bacteria completely unaffected.

6. Apples, Celery, and other Low-Acid, Fibrous Foods

Often referred to as “dental detergents” these water-rich fruits and veggies act by stimulating saliva production, which keeps oral bacteria in check. These high-fiber foods also have a scrubbing effect, literally cleansing the surface of your teeth as you eat, working to brush the bacteria away. Chewing these foods will disturb and dislodge newly formed dental plaque, preventing it from ever forming.

Related:
Oil Pulling Heals Gums & Whitens Teeth, Naturally
Shiitake Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Beauty, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Holistic Beauty, Natural Remedies, Oral Care, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Sayward Rebhal

Sayward Rebhal is a writer, a mother, a mover and a maker. Author of the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, Sayward also works as a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, and blogs about all things "socially conscious, totally fabulous" at http://bonzaiaphrodite.com.

612 comments

+ add your own
1:15PM PST on Jan 9, 2015

thank you

9:16PM PST on Dec 31, 2014

sorry,but no- all suggestions ,my way of life for yrs;periodontal disease is down to bad genes,non of the above will undo that

10:24AM PST on Dec 16, 2014

thanks

5:49PM PST on Dec 1, 2014

Thank you

5:57AM PST on Dec 1, 2014

PLEASE CHANGE THE PETITIONS ON THESES PAGES

4:14PM PST on Nov 26, 2014

Be warned that citrus fruits are acidic enough to eat away the enamel permanently.

4:55AM PST on Nov 24, 2014

thank you.

7:36AM PST on Nov 18, 2014

thanks

1:59AM PST on Nov 18, 2014

ty

3:13PM PST on Nov 16, 2014

GOOD EXPLANATION, thank you. Had heard of it, tried it (but not 20 min.) Very helpful, thanks

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Petition already signed and shared, so terrible for the poor koalas to suffer from such horrible dis…

Lots of yummy non dairy cheese options that i didnt know about, I do really enjoy Amys mac n cheese …

I could be happier if I didn't have rheumatism...however...that just HURTS!

Thanks for sharing.

Oops. Thought it was going to be a helpful article, with practical suggestions. Wasn't prepared for …

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.